Bass Pro Shops backs out of Columbia County deal

County says competitor's plans had role in decision

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 8:08 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 2:00 PM
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Bass Pro Shops has canceled its plan to build a store in Columbia County, officials announced Tuesday.

Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the company informed county officials on Friday that it was backing out of the plan announced in July to build a 50,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outpost on Mason McKnight Jr. Park­way, near the intersection of In­terstate 20 and Flowing Wells Road.

Cross said company officials said they didn’t think the Augusta market was big enough for that store and one being built by its competitor, Cabela’s Inc.

Cabela’s announced on July 25 – the day after Bass Pro Shops’ announcement – that it would construct a 42,000-square-foot store near Costco at the Village at Riverwatch commercial development.

“Bass Pro Shops is afraid of Ca­bela’s and won’t be coming to Co­lum­bia County,” Cross said. “A contract was signed, but they decided it wasn’t in their interest to proceed with it. I think we have learned they are not really honorable people.”

County Administrator Scott John­son said a few months ago that Bass Pro Shops officials seemed eager to make a deal and asked for few
incentives.

“They basically came with their hats in their hands,” he said.

The deal worked out with the county, McKnight Properties and the Columbia County Development Authority provided that Bass Pro Shops would purchase eight acres from McKnight and donate six to the county. In turn, the county would install and maintain a public parking lot, which was also to be used as a park-and-ride program for I-20 motorists, Johnson said.

The store was expected to provide jobs for more than 200 people and create a big boost to county sales tax revenues. Negotiations and planning took about eight months of intense work, but it all began to unravel after the Cabela’s announcement, officials said.

Johnson said it soon became evident that Bass Pro Shops was getting cold feet. He said company officials were slow to provide details and continued to say they were in a “due diligence” period of the contract until Friday.

“We got them on a conference call on Friday and that’s when they said they weren’t coming,” Johnson said.

This is the second time in five years that Bass Pro Shops has pulled out of an announced deal. In 2008, it announced it was going to build a store in Richmond County along River Watch Parkway. Those plans never got off the ground. In 2011, the sporting goods chain placed its Augusta plans, and other potential stores across the nation, on hold because of the economy.

Calls to Bass Pro Shops and McKnight Properties were not returned Tuesday evening.

Comments (92) Add comment
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rebellious
21840
Points
rebellious 10/02/13 - 01:07 am
10
2
Countyman

Is worse than an optimist. He is the person who, when bullets are flying by, enjoys the cools breeze they create. And maybe, just once maybe, stay on the subject. I mean if the rant or article is about increased crime in Augusta, he responds about Starbucks or Five Guys or a hotel on Gordon Hwy.

If you want a semblance of respect from this crowd, stay relevant.

Just some advice.

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 10/02/13 - 02:06 am
3
10
Fact

KSL...... Five Guys opened in West Augusta before Aiken.

Dichotomy is the one who mentioned Five Guys in his comment, and I have no idea what you felt the need to call me out. Only one person decided to bring up the restaurant prior to your comment, and it wasn't me.

Where did I say anything pertaining to Five Guys? The only people who bring up Five Guys are Gage Creed, Pops, Dichotomy, Gnip Gnop, etc.

Rebellious.. Why do you feel you're allowed to go off topic just now? My comments are for the purpose of letting the public know the ongoing investments in the county. People need to be focusing on the leaders in Augusta, and holding them accountable if they don't bring rapid change.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 04:29 am
2
8
Give um heck, Ron!

Costco and the future Cabela's in West Augusta is way closer to my house in Columbia County than BP would have been, but I'll still miss it. It was right on the county line up I-20. I had never realized that piece of land was partially in Columbia County. That's pretty far from us folks out on the river close to West Augusta. Hey, guys, it's just one store. Goodness, support our Sports Academy and Cabela's.

I like Ron Cross' style. Give um heck.

Truth Matters
8084
Points
Truth Matters 10/02/13 - 04:43 am
3
2
Redfish @ 8:39 Gets my vote

Redfish @ 8:39

Gets my vote for post of the week, and it is only hump day.

bigj706
1410
Points
bigj706 10/02/13 - 04:44 am
4
1
Yes I have no problem with

Yes I have no problem with Sports Academy Bass Pro was thinking why come when
they already have sporting shops and also one coming the same time we are why waste money its not like Augusta is like the hunting capital of the world any way.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 05:28 am
5
0
The Macon BP store was

The Macon BP store was burglarized yesterday and guns were stolen. I wonder if any other BP store has ever been burglarized?

csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 10/02/13 - 05:32 am
10
0
Ron Cross is questioning someone else's honor and integrity?????

How ironic is that? Old Ron not only makes himself look foolish with his quote, but he makes the County look foolish and desperate. Unless I'm mistaken, Bass Pro Shops was well within their rights under the terms of the contract to cancel plans within 90 days. If they exercised that right, that is certainly not dishonorable. Old Ron might just want to look in the mirror before he questions anyone's integrity.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 10/02/13 - 05:39 am
5
1
Hopefully, no other Columbia
Unpublished

Hopefully, no other Columbia County business prospect will catch wind of Cross' unprofessional comment (tantrum).

justputtin
1527
Points
justputtin 10/02/13 - 05:44 am
4
0
Credit to Ron

Hey, you got to give him credit for one thing.........he IS consistent!

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 10/02/13 - 06:03 am
5
1
Don't knock Bass Pro

BP is a great store & 3 miles from my house....but Rebel is right, the customers for this store planned in the CSRA would be outside the city area...waaay outside---think Hephzibah & waynesboro---Thomson...they are business minded folks....soon they might put a store in Appling when the time is right....next to a 5 Guys restaurant, of course. :) & a Teds Montana Grill.

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 10/02/13 - 06:06 am
3
4
NOTHING MORE THAN A BUNCH OF

FLAKES.

This makes twice they made promises they did not keep.
Personally I'd Tell them to KISS OFF next time.

I wonder how power people many thinking they had inside info, got hosed over what they thought were sneaky land deals?

Lou Stewall
374
Points
Lou Stewall 10/02/13 - 06:23 am
8
1
Canal Authority To Blame

When Bass Pro tried to come here before, the Canal Authority would not let them have access to our "pristine" canal for people to try out fishing gear. They were going to build a nice 500 yard walkway along the banks. No wonder they are bailing out. Bass Pro should file a lawsuit against the Canal Authority, and Bass Pro should win.

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 06:43 am
1
0
XX RON. Judging lest he be judged. Same measure. LOL
Unpublished

XX RON. Judging lest he be judged. Same measure. LOL

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 06:43 am
1
0
Bubba Ron should run for US Congress. Take Lee with him.
Unpublished

Bubba Ron should run for US Congress. Take Lee with him.

soapy_725
44110
Points
soapy_725 10/02/13 - 06:45 am
1
0
Imagine XX RON as spokesman for a Fortune 500 company. LOL
Unpublished

Imagine XX RON as spokesman for a Fortune 500 company. LOL

GuyGene
1483
Points
GuyGene 10/02/13 - 07:02 am
3
0
I don't know much about Mr.

I don't know much about Mr. Cross, but seems to me for a company to make an announcement two times, then back out two times is kind of untrustworthy. I do not trust Bass Pro now.

I've always liked Cabela's better anyway, but still wanted both.

Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 10/02/13 - 07:18 am
2
0
Some of you Folks are Funny!

You know nothing about the outdoor industry. Cross if wrong...BPS is smart...fishing here is not like Tennessee--it sucks unless you like trolling for stripers or crappie and there is not much money in that. The money is made in bass and saltwater fishing--neither are good here! I was surprised Johnny Morris wanted to come here in the first place...we barely support Academy!

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 10/02/13 - 07:28 am
2
0
Fish to eat

If more folks in your area had to get their own food this place would thrive in the CSRA....soooo don't bash the business when they realize what they are up against.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 07:35 am
3
0
"If more folks in your area

"If more folks in your area had to get their own food..."

Heh, heh, what's THAT supposed to mean?

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 10/02/13 - 07:46 am
3
1
You know dang well

Free food 24/7 takes away from fishing---hunting & etc....I can't help it if yall can't keep the good stores....I love the choices we have...also the store at Sugarloaf was well positioned with the north side of the metro...many from the small towns in N Ga come to this store---yaknow, like your "north Richmond county area"....the area you are still trying to find..lol...so funny.

dichotomy
37418
Points
dichotomy 10/02/13 - 07:51 am
4
0
"I wonder how power people

"I wonder how power people many thinking they had inside info, got hosed over what they thought were sneaky land deals?"

They would sure explain some anger and name calling wouldn't it. Always follow the money.

karradur
2878
Points
karradur 10/02/13 - 07:56 am
2
4
Oh no.

Not Bass Pro Shops.

Whatever will we do.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 08:06 am
2
1
Speaking of New Stores

Since I'm not working again today I'll try out our new neighborhood Walmart down on the corner that opened about an hour ago. Anyone want anything?

Young Fred
20919
Points
Young Fred 10/02/13 - 08:10 am
2
0
Lou @7:23 am I was not aware

Lou @7:23 am

I was not aware of that. Can anyone else confirm this?

If true, somebody needs their hind-end kicked, and kicked hard!!!

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 08:12 am
1
1
Dichotomy, at your 8:51, I

Dichotomy, at your 8:51, I have to say that makes sense. Shades of Don Cheeks up I-20.

Lou Stewall
374
Points
Lou Stewall 10/02/13 - 08:41 am
5
0
Canal Authority Blew Off Bass Pro

There is only one mention of it in the Chronicle, where a Bass Pro official said they loved the property because of access to the canal. The Canal Authority never agreed to this.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 08:44 am
3
1
I agree with what Lou is

I agree with what Lou is saying. I remember it, too.

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 10/02/13 - 08:47 am
2
2
Oh stop crying over spilled milk

For a small charge I might pick up a few items from the BP near me...mailed through our wonderful Post Office / only to folks who believe the POFC has a future.

Or go online .....:)

karradur
2878
Points
karradur 10/02/13 - 08:57 am
2
8
...

Now we only get one quasi-religious white culture temple instead of two.

Young Fred
20919
Points
Young Fred 10/02/13 - 09:12 am
5
1
seenitB4

I like shopping online OK, but nothing beats being able to fondle a pole in person.

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