Scheels All Sports Colorado

Scheels All Sports Colorado's location in Johnstown gave its employees bonuses right after federal tax reform was signed into law. (Little Mountain 5 | Wikimedia via Creative Commons)

A Colorado Springs developer has pulled its request to exempt retailer Scheels All Sports from a business improvement district this week after pushback from other businesses and local politicians.

Developer Interquest Marketplace LLC, which owns most of the property in the district and is a subsidiary of Nor’wood Limited, Inc., initially petitioned that Scheels not be included in the Interquest North Business Improvement District (INBID).

The exclusion from the district would have meant Scheels would save nearly $500,000 annually in property and public improvement taxes, according to Complete Colorado.

The petition was withdrawn on Monday, a day before the issue was scheduled to be heard before the Colorado Springs City Council, after pushback from other businesses in the district and questions over the retail company’s projected fiscal numbers.

Scheels already received more than $16 million in tax incentives over 25 years to build a store in Colorado Springs, a plan that was approved by City Council in February.

The retailer estimated the 220,000 square foot location would generate $60 million a year in sales, but the Colorado Springs Independent later reported that the developer later admitted that number “was wrong,” and a more conservative estimate is $20.4 million a year.

“The prior information as to the impact of the Scheels store in relation to comparable commercial property in the Interquest North Business Improvement District was based on erroneous information (the projected annual sales amount was wrong) and should be disregarded," said Russell Dykstra, an attorney who represents Nor'wood, in an email to the city.

Dykstra said in the email that Scheels stores "can do sales of $60 million a year or more,” according to the Independent.

The petition also drew the ire of other businesses in the BID, who welcome Scheels but don’t think the company should get an exemption.

Timothy J. Leonard, president of Deepwater Point Company, which manages two of the 10 businesses in the district, sent a letter to the City Council prior to the June 25 meeting objecting to Scheels’ exclusion. 

“Denying this petition for commercial exclusion will allow Scheels to prosper at the Interquest Marketplace alongside all the other viable businesses,” he said.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.