If you haven’t been by the new Bass Pro Shops in North Gate, you don’t know what you’re missing.
The 120,000-square foot store is still a few weeks away from opening, but when it does it is sure to be a major gathering point for a lot of folks in the Pikes Peak region.
“This is definitely one of our grandest buildings from the outside to the inside,” said store general manager Chris Koeninger. “We’re not skimping on anything.”
The grand opening is set for Nov. 21, beginning at 8 a.m. The store will actually be open for three hours on Nov. 20 for a special sneak peek.
“Vendors from all of our manufacturers will be on hand for the grand opening,” Koeninger said. “We’ll have hot dogs and drinks for donations.
“We’ll even have a live bull from (the Professional Bull Riders Association).”
The Colorado Springs Bass Pro Shops is the centerpiece in the 200-acre Copper Ridge development near North Gate Boulevard and Interstate 25. The future extension of Powers Boulevard is to the south, Meadowgrass Drive and a future extension of Spectrum Loop is to the east and the existing Western Museum of Mining and Industry sits to the west. Off in the distance is a perfect view of the Air Force Academy and Pikes Peak.
Koeninger has been on site since May. He was the general manager of the Tulsa, Okla., Bass Pro for eight years.
“I opened that store,” Koeninger said. “All of our Bass Pro Shops are pretty amazing, but this one will have a lot of bonus features.”
Among the unique features is a river at the front entrance where guests enter over a bridge to get into the store, as well as an inside water fall.
Bass Pro Shops’ unique exterior and interior motifs are visually appealing. The outdoors feel is brought indoors through massive log and rock work, large indoor aquariums and water features stocked with native fish species. There will also be historic photos and exhibits that pay tribute to Colorado’s great outdoor heritage.
The paved parking lot has 800 spaces.
Nationally, Bass Pro Shops will host more than 112 million people visiting their 58 stores across America and Canada this year; the average customer stays two-and-a-half hours and drives an average distance of 50-plus miles, according to the store’s website.
Bass Pro Shops was recently named by Advertising Age magazine as one of the Top 10 Hottest Brands in America along with name brands such as Old Spice, M&M’s, iPad and Droid.
“We are very excited to bring Bass Pro Shops to Colorado Springs and be part of this major development,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, in a press release. “The area’s long history of great fishing and hunting traditions along with this highly visible and accessible location make it the perfect place to allow us to better serve our many customers and all the outdoor enthusiasts that visit and live in this beautiful part of the country.”
Bass Pro will have expanded hours through the end of the year.