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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA-The Inland Empire, for years home to some of the largest industrial buildings, will now get one of the country’s biggest specialty retailers in the form of Bass Pro Shops. The Springfield, MO-based company plans to build a 180,000-sf store at the Victoria Gardens Lifestyle Center and to have it open for business in 2007.The store will be the first in Southern California for Bass, which expects to be under construction within the next six months. Bass and officials of the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency and the City Council sealed the deal this week when the city approved the development agreement for the shop, which officials estimate will bring Rancho Cucamonga more than $1 million a year in sales tax revenue.The city officials and Bass Pro Shops representatives worked on the agreement for more than a year. The store will be on the east side of Victoria Gardens, adjacent to the I-15 Freeway.Approximately 70% of the 180,000 sf will offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, hunting and fishing, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and other pursuits. About 22,000 sf will be dedicated to a boat showroom and service center. Other areas of the store will include a gift and nature center and a 10,000-sf restaurant.Jack Lam, Rancho Cucamonga’s city manager, calls the Bass store “part retail, part entertainment and part outdoor adventure,” saying that it is expected to become a retail and tourist attraction for both the region and Southern California. Bass Pro Shops’ 27 stores in 17 states and Canada attract about 75 million visitors yearly and typically draw from a wide area, as is expected of the new Rancho Cucamonga store.The Bass Pro Shops store is expected to draw customers from throughout Southern California and beyond. One reason is the store’s location at the I-15 and I-210 freeways, which close to many recreational areas such as the San Bernardino National Forest, Mojave and Joshua Tree national parks, and the Pacific Coast. Another reason is that California’s population includes a higher concentration of hunters (855,181) and anglers (3.1 million) than in many other states, according to the research firm of Thomas Weisel Partners and the US Department of Fish and Game.

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