*** UPDATED at 6:33 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 ***
There's a new catch in Columbia County and it's going to bring in new jobs and more sales tax revenue.
Columbia County commissioners announced a new Bass Pro Shops would open up there.
That store will go up on Wheeler Road, near I-20 – just opposite the Car Max.
There's nothing fishy about this store – in fact Columbia County commissioners say a new Bass Pro Shops is 8-years in the making.
"These people coming up on I-20 – the Bass Prop Shops signs will get a lot of attention," said Columbia County Chairman, Ron Cross.
"With the branding of Bass Pro Shops, we find people travel long distances. In fact, we've got 3 states where it's the number 1 tourist attraction," said Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops, Rob Keck.
More tourists mean more sales tax dollars.
"There'll be a lot of other stores that'll increase the sales tax revenue not only for Columbia County but also Richmond County," said Cross.
The 50, 000 square foot store will have something for everyone - even if you don't enjoy hunting or fishing.
"You'll head find aquariums, you'll find tremendous displays of wildlife. We find that people come here to spend time because there's something for children, something for women," said Keck.
It'll open in the fall of 2014 or early 2015 – and county commissioners hope it'll bring more stores to the area. Now several possible sites were considered include the current Costco location and the Gateway Shopping plaza in Grovetown, but this spot here on Wheeler Road is where the new Bass Pro Shops will go up.
Commissioners say the new store will bring in money not just for Columbia County but for the entire CSRA, as the money will now stay local
"There'll be sales opportunities in both Richmond and Columbia Counties. Plus it gives the people of Aiken, McDuffie, and Burke who may have been going to Atlanta or other places that have Bass Pro Shops," said Cross.
There are nearly 80 Bass Pro Shops across the country. Some stores generate up to $50 million dollars in sales so certainly good news as the company expands to the Augusta market in terms of sales tax dollars.
*** POSTED at 1:03 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 ***
An announcement was made in Columbia County Wednesday afternoon that a Bass Pro Shops store is coming to Columbia County.
In a press release we just received a few moments, ago company officials made the announcement. Read the text of the press release below:
Bass Pro Shops, McKnight Properties, and Columbia County are pleased to announce that America's most popular outdoor store will locate its 4th Georgia store in Columbia County near Augusta, Georgia. The new 50,000 square-foot Bass Pro Shops® Outpost will be located at the intersection of I-20 and Flowing Wells Road in Columbia County and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014 or the spring of 2015.
"We are very excited to bring Bass Pro Shops to this premier site in Augusta and to be a part of this great community," stated Johnny Morris, Founder of Bass Pro Shops. "This highly visible location is easily accessible and will allow us to bring Bass Pro Shops' low prices and friendly, expert service to better serve the many sportsmen and women as well as the many visitors to the Augusta area each year."
"This joint venture between Bass Pro Shops, McKnight Properties and the County is a wonderful example of a public/private partnership," said Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross. "The addition of Bass Pro Shops greatly coincides with Columbia County's efforts to provide more shopping opportunities for our citizens and the region. We look forward to this long term partnership."
The region enjoys a rich history in outdoor sports with direct access to the Savannah River and 71,000 acres at Clarks Hill Lake. These amenities afford users many exceptional camping, recreational boating, fishing, and hunting opportunities. Columbia County also plays host to numerous national fishing tournaments and boat races.
Nationally, Bass Pro Shops will host over 120 million people visiting their 77 stores and marine centers across America and Canada this year; the average customer stays 2 ½ hours and drives an average distance of 50+ miles. Bass Pro Shops was recently named by Advertising Age magazine as one of the Top 10 Hottest Brands in America along with name brands such as Old Spice, M&M's, iPad and Droid. Also, Bass Pro Shops has been recognized numerous times for their conservation and outdoor education efforts, as well as being recognized by J.D. Powers & Associates for their customer service excellence.
Bass Pro Shops' unique, award-winning, mega-sized outdoor stores are known for combining retail with entertainment, conservation and outdoor education. More than just a fishing and hunting store, the Bass Pro Shops store will also offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center will also serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.
The expansive boat showroom will feature Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats built by Tracker Marine Group, the world's largest manufacturer of fishing boats.
Bass Pro Shops' unique exterior and interior motifs have branded them as visually appealing, high quality outdoor stores. The outdoors feel is brought indoors through massive log and rock work, large indoor aquariums and water features stocked with native fish species as well as an extensive collection of museum quality fish and wildlife mounts. Historic photos and exhibits will pay tribute to the regions great outdoor heritage.
Other Georgia Bass Pro Shops store locations include Lawrenceville (Atlanta), Savannah and Macon.
About Bass Pro Shops®:
Bass Pro Shops® operates 77 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops® also conducts an international catalog and internet retailing operation—the American Rod & Gun® wholesale division--which sells to more than 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide. Outdoor World® Incentives also sells Bass Pro Shops® gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America. The Bass Pro Shops® restaurant division has 28 locations. The company's Tracker Marine Group® (http://www.trackerboats.com) manufactures and sells Tracker®, Nitro®, SunTracker®, Tahoe®, Grizzly® and Mako® boats through Bass Pro Shops® retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide. The Resort Group (http://www.bigcedar.com) includes Big Cedar Lodge® and other resort properties including restaurants and golf courses. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops® store locations, products or special events, please visit http://www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow us on Facebook.
You will remember, a Bass Pro Shops was planned, then delayed indefinitely, for Richmond County.
We will continue to follow this developing story and bring you the latest details as they become available.
The nearest Bass Pro Shops store to Augusta opened in Macon, Georgia about 7 years ago, in October of 2006, and that store employs 140 people.
Nationwide, there are about 80 stores. Click here for a more information on store locations.
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