INDEPENDENCE, MO-Bass Pro Shops has broken ground on a 150,000-sf outdoor store, which will anchor a 180-acre lifestyle development by the city and Crackerneck Creek LLC. The store, which is scheduled to open in May 2007, is the fifth Bass Pro unit in the state.

The Independence Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will offer a totally unique design from the other 33 stores across the nation. The store’s design will take its cue from local topography. For example, the store is surrounded by 25 acres of nature trails, an outdoor nature park, an 18-acre lake and a wilderness wetland area for wildlife.

The store, located on the southwest quadrant of I-70 and I-470/M-291 Highway, will feature a six-story atrium that allows all store departments to be completely visible and easily accessible from a central ramp. A four-story interior waterfall in the atrium will showcase large game wildlife and a rock climbing wall, descending into a 30,000 gallon freshwater aquarium stocked with game fish. Wildlife dioramas will be located throughout the store, which will also feature an expansive boat showroom featuring Tracker, Nitro, Mako and SeaCraft boats all built by Tracker Marine Group.

Moreover, the store will offer a 7,000-sf Islamorada Fish Co. Restaurant and a lodge-themed hotel. The restaurant, a concept born in the late 1940s in the Florida Keys as a marina snack bar, will serve a wide variety of fresh seafood entrees in addition to smoked meats and wild game, rotisserie broiled fowl, steaks, appetizers and desserts.

Bass Pro Shops will employ approximately 250 to 300 local people and will offer Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families to teach new skills and improving existing ones. It will also get involved into local conservation efforts, according to Martin Mac Donald, director of conservation for Bass Pro Shops.

Other Bass Pro stores in Missouri are located in Columbia, St. Charles, Branson and Springfield.

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