Sporting goods emporium Bass Pro Shops unveiled an artist’s rendition of its new Columbia store Thursday during a press conference at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
The unveiling offered officials a first glimpse at how the 80,000 square foot complex, which is to be built at Interstate 70 and Highway 63, will appear to the public.
Tentatively scheduled to open in the fall of 2004, the finalized design took two years to complete. Bass Pro Shops officials said Columbia is an ideal spot for expansion.
“When you look at the number of outdoor lovers, the number of people with hunting and fishing licenses and the heritage of the outdoors, you really couldn’t pick a better location,” said Martin MacDonald, the company’s director of corporate public relations.
The sprawling complex, which will sell more than 110,000 outdoor products, will be visible from Highway 63 near the Vandiver exit.
The Columbia store will feature the resort-style exterior that has become a staple of the company’s outlets. The Bass complexes are known for their attention to detail, with several of the stores displaying everything from white stucco exteriors to elaborate saltwater aquariums to detailed glasswork.
Bass Pro Shops, which is based in Springfield, currently operates 18 stores in 15 states. While the Columbia store will pale in comparison to the 300,000 square foot Springfield headquarters, the store will be the featured attraction of the new Center State Crossing shopping center.
The sporting goods outfitter is also providing an economic boost to Columbia. The store will bring 250 new jobs to the area.
“We’re looking for people who love the outdoors,” MacDonald said.