Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops of West Chester: Thank George Lang and Mark Welch

Capitalism is creativity—the ability of entrepreneurs to bring ideas to market for people to enjoy.  So I often find great enjoyment in regions of the country where capitalism is on grand display and these days the corridor along I-75 just north of Cincinnati, Ohio has all the trappings of one of the finest developments in the world.  I personally enjoy the stores of the Cincinnati Outlets in Monroe, the Comic book/gaming store Nostalgic Ink at the very next exit to the south, and the book stores and restaurants at Union Center Blvd—of which Aladdin’s and Jags are my favorites.  There are of course plenty of government workers in this region that loot off the efforts of entrepreneurs, particularly the local government school, but generally, it is the conservative hands-off government of Butler County that has allowed these developments to emerge so robustly.  But there are few developments which excite me as much as the announcements from West Chester that two giant superstores of outdoor apparel, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are both opening over the next couple of years.  For most communities these types of giant outdoor stores are destination shopping experiences, meaning they are worthy of vacations just to visit one of the stores.  People do purchase plane tickets to visit these types of retail outlets wherever they might luckily be in the nation.  But in West Chester—because of the demographic population which has excellent per capita income, and the type of very pro capitalist government running the show—both giant retailers are dumping significant investments into the area which I will enjoy immensely.

I’m not crazy about the public funding portion of the Liberty Way project, but I am ecstatic about the development and simply cannot wait to see those buildings erected.  I want to attend the movie theater that they are putting there in the worst way.  I simply am excited to see the results.  I was fortunate enough to see the early prints of that development at the beginning phases and have been a fan ever since.  But even better is the 82,000 square foot Cabela’s store which is being built right across from Liberty Center.  That will be one of the most exciting locations of destination shopping in the country—and that includes the Disney World complex off I-4 in south Orlando.  The Voice of America shopping district is already fantastic, but within a few years of this writing, it will be the most exciting place in America to shop and spend suburban leisure time.  The Cabela’s store will just be icing on the cake—a very glorious cake at that!

But…………….that’s not all.  Just down the road to the south is the Streets of West Chester which is at the Union Central Blvd exit.  I spend a lot of time at the Streets.  If you have to take someone to lunch or dinner visiting for business, you simply cannot go wrong at Mitchell’s, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, P.F. Changs, Red Robin or after a late night movie, Steak & Shake which I find myself at a lot more than you’d think.  Barnes and Noble is like a second home to me—especially since Books A Million left Bridgewater Falls just to the west.  I have felt often that the Streets were too small however—and the plan has been for years to expand it to the south in a Phase 2 development.  Well, this is now happening with Bass Pro Shops serving as the anchor located a football throw away from the giant IKEA store located on Allen Road, directly across from the Mercedes Benz dealership.  Can you say it with me?   …………………………aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The Plan 2 development will be just the needed ingredient missing from the current Streets location which will make that too a destination shopping experience worthy of an out-of-town visit.  The trustees of West Chester George Lang and Mark Welch along with Bruce Jones have created a climate in West Chester conducive to business investment and the area is just exploding with creativity.  I was not a fan of Judith Boyko when she was working for the former trustee president Catherine Stoker—a vile Democrat who greatly limited the kind of creativity currently going on in West Chester with her big heavy-handed government presence.  Now Boyko under new president George Lang is on board with what makes West Chester special saying, “The development of these two new retail locations represents the largest concentration of boutique-like retail amenities in the West Chester area.  These are the type of retail destinations our diverse and sophisticated residents demand, and we expect both to be very successful footholds in our retail fabric.”  YES…….I agree with Boyko!  Jiminy Christmas—it’s about time that somebody gets it—and in West Chester—they do.  Capitalism is the foundation of America and there just aren’t many places where it’s more alive anywhere than in West Chester and other developments along the I-75 corridor.

But Cabela’s and Bass Pro will be a whole new level of excitement and coolness.  My family used to shop at the Bass Pro Shop at its current location in Forest Park, but the area has been mismanaged by local government and it has killed business investment.  The mall there has died and the retail establishments have fallen into a slumber—the local demographic population just cannot support such capitalist creativity—so business moves to where it can grow.  It cannot be managed the way many trustees attempt—but local government must create a climate of capitalism so to attract investment and thus creativity in diverse product offerings.  This will certainly be on full display at Liberty Center, but the Streets of West Chester will emerge as one of the most fabulous examples of such a thing anywhere in the country. Only Downtown Disney in Orlando may rival it in the years to come as for interesting destination shopping and things to do once you get there.  Bass Pro was already set to move into the area before the Cabela’s announcement, but now that they know a competitor is moving in down the road—they are revamping their original plans from something not just great—but ecstatically stupendous.  They are further revising their plans to include more activity based attractions at their new superstore to have a competitive advantage over Cabela’s.

For capitalism, these are exciting times.  The creativity of entrepreneurs is on full display specifically in West Chester but to a larger extent along a 6 mile span of I-75 stretching from Monroe to I-275.  There are not more exciting things happening anywhere than along that span of highway and capitalism is the reason why.  The key is that local political management has embraced free market capitalism as their guiding light, and this is the result.  Overly managed economies have pushed out these types of investments leaving them to retreat to this capitalist zone which is unique in the country.  When capitalism is allowed to grow it can do wonderful things—and in West Chester—it is.  I can’t wait to shop at Cabela’s and the new Pro Bass Shop at The Streets of West Chester.

Rich Hoffman