SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC — Spartanburg County might be close to landing one of the retail industry's big fish.
Bass Pro Shops, a Missouri-based outdoor retailer, is eyeing the county for a new store that would create numerous jobs and attract visitors from all over the Upstate and beyond, sources familiar with the matter said.
Sources said the company is considering building the store on more than 75 acres currently owned by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc. at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 85 near BMW Manufacturing Co. Local officials have been courting Bass Pro Shops for about seven years.
Katie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Bass Pro Shops, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
A Bass Pro Shops' competitor, Nebraska-based Cabela's, on April 3 opened a new 100,000-square-foot store off Woodruff Road in Greenville County.
On April 8, Bass Pro Shops announced its plans to open a new 100,000-square-foot store in Decatur, Ala. Spartanburg County Council held a special meeting that same day, and members went into executive session to discuss an economic development/contractual matter for Project Granite.
County Councilman David Britt and John Montgomery, vice president of real estate for Pacolet Milliken, declined to comment.
As of Monday, Bass Pro Shops had not filed site plans with the county.
Mitchell said a few weeks ago that the company is aggressively pursuing expansion in numerous markets across the U.S.
When asked if the presence of a competitor in a nearby market would impact Bass Pro Shops' decision on where to build its stores, Mitchell said, no.
Bass Pro Shops operates 85 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across the U.S. and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million people every year, according to the retailer's website.
Its stores have a lodge-like exterior with an outdoor-themed interior that usually includes an aquarium and a restaurant, as well as thousands of products for hunting, fishing, camping and other activities.