Bass Pro Shops will not be building a store in Columbia County after all. It was supposed to be built near the intersection of I-20 and Wheeler Road, next to the Carmax. The announcement was made on July 24th but at Tuesday night's Columbia County commission meeting, Chairman Ron Cross announced the company has had a change of heart.
Columbia County Administrator Scott Johnson says that Bass Pro Shops made the decision on Friday. He says the company was still in a due diligence period, and even though a contract was signed and an announcement was made, the company was still within its rights to back out.
County officials say that Bass Pro Shops got cold feet when its competitor, Cabela's, announced that it would be building a store in Augusta. County officials say that Bass Pro Shops felt the Augusta market couldn't support their store and a Cabela's, and that's why they cancelled plans in Columbia County.
County leaders are disappointed, but they will keep trying to recruit other retail stores to the area.
"At the end of the day, they're a privately held company, and they have to make decisions based on their business model. They didn't feel like this community could support their business. I tend to disagree. I think if they had built the store, I felt like it would have been a great asset to Columbia County. I think it would have been great for the region. Just like I feel Cabela's is a good addition to the region," Johnson says.
Johnson says that they worked with Bass Pro Shops for several months before announcing the company was going to build a store. The store was going to be more than 50,000 square feet and it was going to create about 200 jobs.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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