Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Update on Marion Tourism Projects

In what's very possibly an inaccurate supposition based on quotes in their story, the Southern Illinoisan is reporting tonight online that "Cabela's, Great Wolf aren't planning for Marion project."

In fact their spokesman never say such a thing (at least they're not quoted as such).
[Great Wolf] however, isn't necessarily on board.

"Our development team currently has no plans for a Great Wolf Lodge in Illinois," said Steve Shattuck, a spokesman for the Wisconsin-based water park operator.

Similarly, a spokesman for outdoor outfitter Cabela's say he hasn't heard about a possible southern Illinois location.

"That's not one that I'm aware of," John Castillo said Wednesday.

Note that Shattuck said his company's "development team" has no plans. According to their website, they do franchise which could be a lodge not actually developed by Great Lodge, but by another outfit.

Also, Castillo of Cabela's provided an honest answer when he said "that's not one that I'm aware of," in regards to Marion. Later he added, "I'm not aware of any discussions with the developer."

Both spokesmen remind me of Target's spokesmen 20 years ago during the "mall wars" between Carbondale and Marion. The then-new Illinois Centre was in its earliest phases; maybe not even under construction yet.

The Southern ran a top story one day that clearly stated that the company was not coming to Marion. They quoted the company spokesman and there was no buts about it, Target was not coming and the implication was it had never considered coming.

In reality of course, they were. No one had told the spokesman. If the real estate and development people in the company tell the spokesmen before a deal is final but before they're ready to announce, it forces the spokesmen to lie. In order to give them plausible deniability they're usually not told.

I'm willing to bet that the spokespeople for Great Wolf and Cabela's aren't told about projects until they're ready to go, which the Marion one obviously is not since the legislation itself has not passed.

Also, as publicly-traded companies both operate under strict rules about publicizing corporate moves in order to protect their investors' interest. In other words, they are lawyers involved.

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