Please note that these comments are based on my own opinion and our family’s experience with Cabela’s. I’m not affiliated with Cabela’s in any way and I’m not receiving any compensation from Cabela’s for this post. Alan and I are huge fans of companies that strive for excellence in customer service and, in our opinion, Cabela’s is one of them.
Cabela’s, which bills itself as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter” is a specialty retailer of outdoor recreation gear, clothing and other merchandise. Last year, Cabela’s was purchased by Bass Pro Shops for approximately $4 billion dollars. Both retailers began their solid and lengthy histories as small family businesses – Cabela’s, I understand, in 1961 and Bass Pro Shops in 1971. As of now, Bass Pro Shops seems committed to carrying on the Cabela’s name and lines and I hope that will remain true. Aside from wandering through a few Bass Pro Shops, I’m not really familiar with the company. I am, however, familiar with Cabela’s and, although I knew the company was friendly to RVers, it wasn’t until this past year that I realized just what that meant.
Typically, when Alan and I are vacationing, we choose to stay in State and National Park campgrounds or regional campgrounds run by cities and counties. We have "camped" in Interstate rest areas and in Walmart parking lots, usually when we’re on the road for long stretches of time, in between vacation spots or trying to make time for some other reason – like last year. In 2017, we unexpectedly found ourselves traveling on two cross country trips for personal business, in addition to an extended vacation of nearly six weeks. We spent a few nights in Walmart parking lots along the way and, as it turned out, several Cabela’s locations - including what is or was the location of the company’s corporate headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska. (I say “is or was” because I don’t know how the acquisition of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops may have affected the corporate structure and/or the location of Cabela’s corporate offices – Bass Pro Shops is based in Springfield, Missouri.)
|Cabela's Corporate Headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska - March 2017|
Before last year’s trips, we were aware that Cabela’s had ample parking for RVs at many locations. But now we know that some Cabela’s actually offer a dump station and a fresh water fill. Throughout our travels last year, when I would call ahead to ask if a specific Cabela’s offered any services for RV travelers or would allow us to stay in their parking lot overnight, staff member after staff member welcomed my called warmly. There were no locations on our route other than corporate headquarters in Nebraska that offered anything other than a place to overnight, but every Cabela’s employee I spoke with was friendly, professional and helpful. Staff members at the locations which did not allow overnight parking due to city or town ordinances actually seemed to be sincerely apologetic that they couldn’t accommodate us. We were especially grateful to one employee of the Cabela’s in Grand Junction, Colorado who not only welcomed us to stay overnight in their parking lot last October, but informed us of the dump station at the nearby Fruita, Colorado Visitor Center. (“It’s fine,” he said. “I’ve used it myself.”) When I informed him that I wasn’t sure we’d be able to make it to Grand Junction that night because we didn’t know how much snow we’d find crossing the Rockies on Interstate 70, he quickly passed along the web site for the Colorado Department of Transportation. This site (link HERE) provides travel alerts, an interactive map and route information, specialized info for truckers and . . . cameras, lots of them! This piece of information proved invaluable to us. Our original intent was to layover at a Cabela’s in the Denver area but neither one could allow us to park overnight. The two State Parks we tried had no sites available that we could fit in and we ended up crossing the Rockies in the dark of night. Holed up just west of Denver that evening, we had checked web cam after web cam on the CO DOT web site and found that, although there was, indeed, snow in the Rockies, the roads were clear and we would have no trouble with the crossing. We pulled into Cabela’s in Grand Junction at 1:00 a.m., hit the hay and were back on the road before the store opened in the morning. Had it been open, I would have stopped in to personally thank that gentleman for going above and beyond to help us out.
The Cabela’s headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska, has an actual campground on site which we took advantage of during our first cross country trip in March of last year.
The campground was reasonably priced (around $20.00 per night if I recall correctly) with both dry sites and sites with electric, as well as a bath house, a dump station and even a playground.
|And even a modern playground for young travelers! Who knew?!|
Cabela's campground was right off Interstate 80 but far enough away so that road noise wasn’t an issue. Plus, there were several restaurants close by. I’m not sure how the sale of Cabela’s to Bass Pro Shops will affect corporate headquarters or the campground attached to it, but I truly hope that the parent company realizes what a valuable resource the campground is to the traveling public.
Until this past year, I’ve been a customer who appreciates Cabela’s for its outdoor gear, home goods and clothing – as well as the fact that the company’s large stores provide an excellent stop during road trips to stretch our legs, use a clean restroom and see what’s new in the world of outdoor enthusiasts. But now, having benefited numerous times from their policy of welcoming RV travelers, my appreciation has reached a whole new level. So, keep Cabela’s in mind when you’re traveling. Their locations allow for a safer overnight stop than a rest area and a much quieter stop than a Walmart. In parting, I’ll sign off as do all Cabela’s staff members as they close their phone calls . . . “Have a legendary day!”