Bass Pro Project Breaks Ground

WOOD COUNTY -- A major development project in Wood County took a ceremonial step forward today.  The ground-breaking for Bass Pro Shops happened mid-morning at the site off Simmons Road, just south of 795 in Rossford.

The original ground-breaking that the company planned was delayed by last week's rain and flooding.

Local dignitaries lined up for the ceremonial groundbreaking, which included the unveiling of the store's design.  Once it's built, Bass Pro is expected to attract hunters and fishermen from around the region, as well as other businesses to the Crossroads development.  "Their very presence here is a magnet to other users because when they generate all those customers, those other customers are going to be spending money in associated stores," said Tom Blaha from the Wood County Economic Development Commission.  "So that's part of the big draw."

While Bass Pro is focused on building its 150,000 square-foot facility, the company will also be in control of developing a total of 225 acres of property around its new store.  "We don't, have not settled on anything at this particular point," said Martin MacDonald, a spokesman for Bass Pro.  "In fact, next week starts what I call the master planning related to this.  We're ready for any suggestions."

Bass Pro will spend about $50 million dollars to build the store and ultimately it will hire 300 people to work there.  The store is expected to have fishing and hunting equipment, and equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more.  The company also plans a gift and nature center to serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.

The store may also include the Islamorada Fish Company restaurant, which is a common pairing for Bass Pro Shops.

The goal is to have the Bass Pro store open sometime next summer.

According to a news release from the company, Bass Pro Shops is headquartered in Springfield, Missouri. They currently have 58 retail locations either open, announced or under construction 23 states and Canada.  The company is also known as an Internet retailer.

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Posted by AEB