LITTLE ROCK, Ar (KTHV) --After years of debating and planning, Bass Pro Shops announced they will begin construction on a new store in Little Rock.
Bass Pro is an award-winning national chain also known for their conservation and education programs.
"We have been hoping for a store in Little Rock for a long time and...we believe we have found the best location possible," stated Johnny Morris. founder of Bass Pro Shops. "We are very excited to bring Bass Pro Shops to Little Rock."
Morris isn't the only one excited about the news. Tourists and travelers, hunters and fishermen are expected to flock to the mega outdoors store. The shop will be part of a new Gateway Town Center development in Little Rock which will also include an outlet mall, according to developer Tommy Hodges.
Construction is scheduled to begin later this summer with hopes to be complete by fall of 2013 and occupy 30 acres. 30 acres of a store known for having anything a fisherman, hunter or outdoors person could need.
Hodges says it won't be the only attraction out here. The town center will include hotels, boutiques and restaurants.
"Bass Pro will be one of the anchors--will be the first anchor. The outlet mall will be the other. The outlet mall will also be 30 acres."
Hodges says the outlet mall is a year behind the Bass Pro construction. With this big development comes promising news for jobseekers.
Hodges says, "Bass Pro will employ about 250 people. We've calculated that when we're half through we'll have about 900 jobs here and I think that'll happen in the next 5 years. It IS the best location possible. There are 100,000+ cars going by the front door every day. We have almost a million people within an hours drive of this site
More than just a fishing and hunting store, Bass Pro Shops will also offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center will also serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.
The Little Rock Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will feature Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill: A nautical-themed entity located within the store, features a truly unique atmosphere and design geared for family fun and dining.
The lot is located off the I-30 frontage road towards Mabelvale at the Otter Creek exit.