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.

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Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 10/02/13 - 10:02 am
5
1

karradur some of us prefer

karradur

some of us prefer the great outdoors over the mindless drooling involved with listening to today’s pop music and watching MSNBC.

KSL
105944
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KSL 10/02/13 - 10:11 am
4
2

countyman

You missed my point. I don't give a rats rear where 5 Guys first opened. I don't rate the place I live by the restaurants that are here.

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/02/13 - 10:05 am
3
1

young fred

I sooo understand that..

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

Me too! hahah

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/02/13 - 10:06 am
2
2

Yall are too funny this am

seeya later funny folks!!

KSL
105944
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KSL 10/02/13 - 10:12 am
4
2

karadur

Just exactly what is the color of all those shooters in Chicago.

Bad question. They are not getting their guns from legitimate stores.

KSL
105944
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KSL 10/02/13 - 10:19 am
4
2

Be advised Kar, when law

Be advised Kar, when law abiding citizenz purchse a weapon, we ae not afraid to have the serial number associatd with our name.

We don't pay cash in a dark back alley for a stolen weapon with the serial number removed.

KSL
105944
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KSL 10/02/13 - 12:56 pm
2
3

Seenit

Careful there!

Sweet son
8248
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Sweet son 10/02/13 - 12:59 pm
3
2

@Riverman1

Funny you should mention going to the new Walmart Market on Furys Ferry. My wife and a friend went out to eat at the pizza place in that shopping center so I told her to stop by and check out the new Walmart. They went to the door and it didn't open but someone let them in. As they were starting to take a look the manager approached and told them very politely that they would have come back today at 7:30 AM when they opened.

They said that they felt like fools but I bet if I had been with them I could talked our way on in for a brief tour. :)

nocnoc
30947
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nocnoc 10/02/13 - 01:04 pm
3
0

Riverman1 _ New Walmart Want any thing?

How about a brick of 22 Cal LR.
I'll give some extra $ for your efforts, if you can pick up a full brick.
Or treat you to lunch.

Riverman1
70616
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 01:33 pm
4
1

New Walmart

I couldn't get in. I mean the entire parking lot was full. I just kept on going and went by River Island and back home. I bet tomorrow it will slow down.

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/02/13 - 01:51 pm
2
0

You would have to understand fishing

To understand the feel for a fishing pole....they don't always fit the hand the same way...sooo, you would have to try them in person...I get that 100%....that also goes for lures.....some are colorful & fancy--some are just drab & dull....different lures for different fish...I have found the fat & colorful lures worked best for me....fatter the better..& this has been a funny article to me because we have sooo many different opinions on why the place pulled out!!

Some see the writing on the wall ...happy fishing.
Just remember ....nice pole with a colorful lure works best!!!

David Parker
7919
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David Parker 10/02/13 - 01:52 pm
1
2

The grass is actually greener, not just metaphorically

Typical vitriol spewed by the typical Richmond County ilk that have county-envy. Walden's is the finest place anyway so this in no way concerns me with regard to retail.

Riverman1
70616
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Riverman1 10/02/13 - 01:56 pm
2
0

SeenIt....A Metaphorical Stroll Down Memory Lane

Hahaha….metaphors at their best. I bet you really thought while writing that.

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/02/13 - 02:00 pm
2
0

Didn't really have to this am

It came EASY to me....only a true fisherman would get it anyway...& I know you do!

I need to shoot my gun some today.....maybe fish some later in week. gotta go & bribe GOB so he will help me in the yard...happy fishing River :)

bdouglas
3507
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bdouglas 10/02/13 - 02:42 pm
3
0

@nocnoc I kinda doubt they'll

@nocnoc
I kinda doubt they'll have bullets at the grocery store... (c;

Young Fred
13778
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Young Fred 10/02/13 - 03:32 pm
3
0

seenitB4

I should have been clear.

Never would I think of fondling another persons fishing pole. I only fondle my own fishing poles. Or those I'm about to purchase.

...er, aaah, nevermind; that didn't sound right! I'm going out to the shed and play with my poles now...

ColCo
462
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ColCo 10/02/13 - 03:44 pm
1
1

Ron's comment

When it's the truth, it's the truth. Bass Pro has wasted the time, efforts and money of local officials twice now. they have made commitments twice and broken those commitments twice. They are not honorable and we'll never have another chance at their business. I'll never shop at Bass Pro again and I encourage everyone in the CSRA to do the same.

Riverman1
70616
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Riverman1 10/02/13 - 03:41 pm
3
0

Appears Ron Cross Was Right To Vent

It's being reported on the radio that BP had suddenly upped their demands and wanted the county to pay $10 million for their building in addition to all the other benefits they had received. Cross told them to go caress themselves in different words. County officials who know what happened are completely in support of Cross' words.

Sweet son
8248
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Sweet son 10/02/13 - 04:27 pm
1
0

@nocnoc

I believe this Walmart is only a market with only food stuff but Riverman if you get access to bricks of 22LR I want some too! :)

badmoon426
789
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badmoon426 10/02/13 - 05:24 pm
1
1

North Richmond...

...I am so confused. If West Augusta is really in the northern part of Richmond County and North Augusta is actually in another state, exactly where is North Richmond County?

seenitB4
72742
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seenitB4 10/02/13 - 05:33 pm
1
0

Who knows badmoon

And who cares or worries about it.....we don't know where we are anymore.

Young Fred you are ok & many get it.....I do.

Sometimes anything we say can be taken in another way....esp the word fondle..but a true lover of poles knows what you mean...you could say caress...handle...massage..embrace...all of that would work..I just embraced 2 martinis myself..♥.

Discussionstarter
429
Points
Discussionstarter 10/02/13 - 05:34 pm
2
1

Very poor comment from Ron!

The comments above from 'my voice' are right on. It was a business decision and I support it. Cabella's building permit states a $4 million cost. If I owned Bass Pro Shops.... I would have to weigh the return on my investment [ROI] in this economy. Ron... remember Magnolia Trace and the land deal next to the government complex. Very poor comment! You made Columbia County look bad.

Riverman1
70616
Points
Riverman1 10/02/13 - 06:26 pm
1
1

Thank You Ron Cross

I believe many of the taxpayers are glad Ron Cross told BP to walk. It’s about time an official started thinking of the taxpayers’ money and wasn’t all helter skelter giving into demands to get a doggone retail store drawing sales from other stores already here. According to the radio, BP had agreed to come, then decided to demand $10 million. Cross told them to hit the road. Thank you.

harley_52
19546
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harley_52 10/02/13 - 08:11 pm
1
0

The Quote Is...

"“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.”"

BPS has either lived up to the specific terms of the contract, or they have violated them

If BPS has violated them, Columbia County should settle the beef in court.

If BPS has complied with the Contract requirements, Ron Cross has no business challenging their honor. It is bad business and will discourage other potential business for the County. Who wants to be called names by an unhappy potential partner?

If they did comply and he publicly challenged their honor they probably have a legal action against Cross and/or the County.

Any way you slice it, publicly calling names in that kind of situation is NOT wise.

Lou Stewall
223
Points
Lou Stewall 10/02/13 - 08:36 pm
2
0

Mr. Cross is Unacceptably, Immaturely Cross

Ron Cross is reckless for insulting a large corporation thinking of locating in Columbia County. They backed out, legally. The announcement of Cabellas getting a far more prime location with access to the canal, the same week, is enough of an insult without Mr. Cross chiming in, burning bridges, souring other potential large retailers with his petulance.
Bass Pro was shafted over access to the water by the Canal Authority, or they would have built in the Cabellas location five years ago.

Gage Creed
12460
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 08:45 pm
0
0

Badmoon... If the map is

Badmoon... If the map is correct North Richmond must be up near Mechanicsville....

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 10/02/13 - 08:50 pm
0
0

Actually, all things

Unpublished

Actually, all things considered Bass Pro Shops picked a lousy location. The access to the property is poor and visibility is not good at all. I think Car Max is probably regretting their decision to go there as well.

Gage Creed
12460
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 09:02 pm
0
1

FACTS are pesky things!

"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."

I was out hiking the Rocky Creek searching for that $3-$4 Million dollar lake that exists in the mind of a certain poster... trouble is, if I did find the moneypit..er lake it would be over populated with Catostomidae...

harley_52
19546
Points
harley_52 10/02/13 - 09:04 pm
0
1

"...exactly where is North Richmond County?"

That's easy.

Look on any map showing the boundaries of Richmond County. Orient the map North to the top, South bottom, East right, and West left. Look at the northernmost area within the Richmond County border.

Now....you are looking at "North Richmond County" no matter what anybody else would have you believe.

Gage Creed
12460
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 09:53 pm
0
0

Harley... you are stating the

Harley... you are stating the obvious, other than countyman who have you ever heard refer to North Richmond? To go a step further...if you look at the Zip Code map... the northernmost region is called Martinez... as it has always been called.

http://www.zipmap.net/Georgia/Richmond_County.htm

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