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
  • Follow Business

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
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
harley_52
23969
Points
harley_52 10/02/13 - 10:02 pm
0
1
"Harley... you are stating the obvious...."

And you, Gage Creed, are denying the obvious.

The plain fact of the matter is, of course, there really is a "North Richmond County."

You may not like it to be called "North Richmond County." Most people may not call it "North Richmond County." Nonetheless, it exists and denying it exists is really pretty silly.

Earlier today I presented my theory regarding the possible genesis of this monumental controversy. What we call "North Augusta" really (according to the map) would be more correctly called "East Augusta." It's too late to change it now, I realize, but that doesn't leave any room for another "North Augusta." I suspect that's why people started calling the real "North Augusta" "West Augusta" which, I think, may be why we're having this discussion.

No matter. There really IS a North Richmond County and if Countyman uses that term he is NOT incorrect (though he apparently won't be popular).

JRC2024
9406
Points
JRC2024 10/02/13 - 10:08 pm
0
0
KSL, Five Guy's Burgers are

KSL, Five Guy's Burgers are good and so are the fries. Try them sometime.

Gage Creed
17967
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 10:18 pm
1
0
Harley... would it then be

Harley... would it then be safe to assume that Augusta is East Atlanta?

harley_52
23969
Points
harley_52 10/02/13 - 10:23 pm
0
1
"Harley... would it then be safe to assume...

....that Augusta is East Atlanta?"

No, but it would be safe to assume that Augusta is in East Georgia.

And it would be silly to deny it.

Gage Creed
17967
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 10:30 pm
1
0
I have not see anyone deny

I have not see anyone deny it... I haven't denied that North Richmond County exists... if someone wants to make up a name for an area that was traditionally called something else... have at it.

If you have a pig... and you have always called it a pig... and someone decides they want to call it an even-toed ungulate, are they wrong? Of course not, but it's still a pig.

harley_52
23969
Points
harley_52 10/02/13 - 10:39 pm
0
1
"I have not see anyone deny it."

I have. Just yesterday.

Gage Creed
17967
Points
Gage Creed 10/02/13 - 10:49 pm
2
1
Harley... if you say you did

Harley... if you say you did I have no reason to doubt you, I have made remarks that North Richmond must be in Virginia, but have never denied there is a North Richmond county. If someone did make that statement it would be "silly" as you have commented.

I would wager that if you asked 100 locals where North Richmond was, the majority of the responses would have something to do with Virginia.

Agree or Disagree?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Details of Augusta's proposed stormwater fee emerge

Typical homeowners will pay $6.40 a month while large property owners could get up to 60 percent credit toward Augusta's new stormwater fee under plans detailed at a Wednesday budget work session.
Search Augusta jobs