August 22, 2012 -
Atlantic City will be getting a giant Bass Pro Shop as the next phase of The Walk, the retail and dining district at the end of the Atlantic City Expressway.
The Bass Pro Shop—a superstore for hunting, fishing and camping—is expected to be 70,000 square feet and occupy a 4-acre parcel bordered by Mississippi Avenue and Christopher Columbus Boulevard. Described as a retail destination, the Bass Pro Shop will be the only retail added to the latest expansion, or Phase IV, of The Walk, according an article in the Press of Atlantic City.
This phase of The Walk is being developed by the Cordish Company, the Baltimore-based developer that built the earlier phases of the retail and dining district before selling its interests in those parts of The Walk to Tanger Factory Outlet Centers last year.
The Bass Pro Shop is being cast as an attraction retail outlet. And, indeed, the Bass stores have a track record for that type of appeal—customers browse for hours. And Bass stores previously have wound up in proximity to casinos, either by design or circumstance.
The Silverton Casino in Las Vegas, south of the main portion of the Strip is anchored by a Bass Pro Shop. Also, a Bass Pro Shop is one of the largest retailers in the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Md., where the Cordish Company recently opened a $500 million casino.
The stores’ draw as destinations is described in these statistics from a company press release: “Nationally, Bass Pro Shops will host over 113 million people visiting their 58 stores across America and Canada this year; the average customer stays 2 ½ hours and drives an average distance of 50+ miles.”
The nearest Bass stores to Atlantic City are in Harrisburg and Hanover, Md.
While its unclear what attractions will be in the Atlantic City store, Bass Pro Shops often are a combination of retail store and theme park for outdoors enthusiasts. Other Bass stores feature large aquariums, fish feedings, elaborate boat showrooms, hunting and fishing workshops, arcades, archery ranges, NASCAR simulators, wildlife displays and antique equipment, according to Bass’ website.
The Atlantic City Bass Pro Shop would break ground early next year and open in late 2013 or spring 2014, according to a company statement.
The Bass Pro Shops addition to the Atlantic City landscape is part of an ongoing effort by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to revitalize and reinvent the city. The CRDA board approved a resolution on Tuesday that authorizes a financial agreement with the Cordish Co. for the Bass Pro Shop development, according to news reports.
Cordish has expressed interest in entering the Atlantic City casino market and the Bass Pro Shop would be in the vicinity of a casino that has been for sale, the Trump Plaza.
Photo: Bass Pro Shop in Hanover, Md. Courtesy Bass Pro Shops.