Updated--Bass Pro Shops to Augusta

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News 12 first at five, April 16, 2008

Augusta, GA---Augusta has hooked Bass Pro Shops. City leaders say this is the big one that won't get away. The Development Authority of Richmond County made the announcement. News 12 had the only T.V. cameras there.

"This has the potential to be the best site in the United States," said Martin MacDonald who is the director of corporate public relations for Bass Pro Shops.

The city of Augusta joins a list of 40 different locations across the U.S. and Canada.

"Let me just say that it's a historic day for our company, and we're...well we just really wanna come to Augusta, Richmond County to a store," said MacDonald.

It would be a so called theater for shopping and cover more than 100,000 square feet. It would serve as the anchor attraction at the Village at Riverwatch.

"To all those who said nothing's gonna ever happen out there...well take a look at what happened today, and it's happening," said Walter Sprouse who is the director of the Development Authority of Richmond County.

"This site location, excuse the phrase, has it all," said MacDonald.
The selling points...the close proximity of the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River.

"It just fits with their mission. It's just a natural for a Bass Pro Shop and it furthers the vision for the city of Augusta," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

"You know when you look at the heart and soul of this community... it's the outdoors, and that's where the match comes in so that's why it's so exciting for us," said MacDonald.

It's a 25 million dollar project that is promising 250 new jobs.

"We love our store manager whether it's camping, hunting, fishing, etc...to be from the area...so he can tell that customer cause he's been there," said MacDonald.

"And if all goes well, we're looking at opening a store in fall of 2009 so...y'all come," said MacDonald.

The complex is being called a sports facility. It will need approval from the Augusta commission. City leaders say this is the big one that won't get away.

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver and commissioner's Don Grantham and Alvin Mason took a trip to the national headquarters a few weeks ago.

"From all the commissioners I've talked to, and the visits I've made to these various locations of Bass Pro Shop...there's no way we can go wrong with approving this project," said Commissioner Don Grantham.

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