SIDNEY – Camping World is putting their flag in the ground in Sidney…and it may just end up being the biggest American flag in Nebraska.
Not only is the largest RV retailer in the United States going to plant a 130-foot flag pole with a giant American flag on 14 acres near Wal-Mart, but Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis says they’re going to build a 30,000-40,000 square-foot store in the heart of Cheyenne County.
“I really feel like the town of Sidney and the people of Sidney can teach me something,” Lemonis said. “While I know a lot about a lot of things, I don’t know enough about the outdoor space. I want to learn and I want to be a student of it. I feel like there’s so many years of experience here. People working for Cabela’s for 29 and 30 years, I don’t know how you don’t learn something from people to get better, and our company needs that.”
Lemonis met with Sidney Mayor Roger Gallaway, City Manager David Scott, and other city, school and business leaders Monday evening at Beans & Steams.
Camping World, which was founded in Bowling Green, Ky. in 1966, sells one out of every four RVs in America at their over 130 locations.
The Sidney store will also include Gander Outdoors, Overton’s (water sports) and The House (online ski and snow store). The new store is expected to be open in 2021 and will be built by local contractors.
Another project Lemonis is working on is creating a small business distribution center that’s driven by the people of Sidney. It’ll be housed at the old Cabela’s Distribution Center buildings.
“We think that a lot of small businesses like ecommerce, but don’t have the knowledge to understand how a distribution center works, how to fulfill package, and how to really accomplish and level the playing field with big box retailers. We want to give them that shot.”
The goal is to hire 200 people at the retail store, distribution center and within the executive group.
Lemonis plans to challenge the non-compete clause regulations set forth when Bass Pro Shops bought Cabela’s in 2017. He says he will spend whatever he can and use whatever resources he needs to win.
“They’re good people,” Lemonis said. “They run a good business. They are real good Americans. They love the outdoors. I hope they understand that we’re just trying to make it work for everybody. We’re not trying to hurt them or hurt anybody.”
Lemonis also announced a new location in Lincoln, set to open in 2021. The new business plan will not affect Camping World locations in Illinois, Minnesota nor Kentucky.