SIDNEY, Neb.— Following the departure of nearly 300 employees at Cabela’s corporate headquarters, Bass Pro Shops will lease some buildings on their former rival’s campus for one dollar per year.
Last week, a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal released the price as a media memo circulated from Springfield about the fate of buildings on the Cabela’s campus. Home to about 2,000 workers, the campus employed more than a third of the population of the 6,800-person town of Sidney at its peak. By February of this year, that number had dwindled to under 1,000, and last week 680 Cabela’s corporate employees accepted or filed for buyouts from Springfield.
Bass Pro Shops says it has earmarked $100,000 on an advertising campaign to occupy idle buildings in Sidney, as 290 Cabela’s corporate employees officially make their way out. As of Thursday, an additional 390 Cabela’s corporate employees had applied for a buyout from Bass Pro Shops, though Springfield has not issued a timeline for their release.
At least 500 jobs, Bass Pro says, will remain in Sidney, though the company’s combined headquarters will now reside in Missouri. The company’s memo says numbers are not yet finalized.
In February, Bass Pro Shops’ founder Johnny Morris offered Cabela’s corporate employees buyout options based on their age and experience with the company. Employees 50 years of age and older with 10 years of experience were offered two weeks severance pay per year of experience, plus a $40,000 buyout bonus. Younger employees with less than a decade of service were offered the same severance pay, plus a $20,000 departure bonus.
The total tab for Cabela’s buyouts in Sidney will run Bass Pro Shops about $20 million. “To support the city of Sidney,” Bass Pro Shops Director of Communications said a prepared statement. “We are aggressively marketing our offer to donate unused office buildings valued at $35 million to qualified employers for $1 per year. Our goal is to attract employers and create new jobs in Sidney.”
Read the Wall Street Journal ad below: