Sunday, November 30, 2014

Woot! Woot! A Bass Pro Shop in Niagara!!!!

Back in the day, I'd never heard of Bass Pro Shop.  Who of us non-hunting, non-fishing types would have?  Then, fourteen years ago, we bought a boat.  I figured if I was going to live on the ocean, I'd better learn to fish.  A sweet enabler (also a Sabre Yacht owner) introduced me to the Bass Pro Shop fishing department in Daytona Beach, and I've been hooked ever since.

The 70 existing and proposed Bass Pro Shops in the US and Canada came from humble beginnings.  In 1971, John L. Morris opened a bait and worm shop behind his Dad's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri.  (Does this prove that fishing and drinking go hand-in-hand for many???  Capt'n B doesn't allow any imbibing while our vessel is under way, either by crew or guests.)  The Bass Pro Shop name was incorporated in 1971.  Catalogs came out in 1974.  By 1975, Johnboy was offering the first boat-motor-trailer package at a good price.  He was off to the races, as they say.  This combo is still his number one seller across the board.

The stores in this chain vary from 20,000 to 300,000 square feet in size, each a unique attraction.  Taxidermy mounts native to the local environs festoon each store.  Live fish tanks are used to demonstrate the efficacy of the baits on sale.  Also, little ones like to see the fish swim up to them behind the glass.  Who doesn't like aquariums?  Outdoor skills workshops on various topics are popular draws for customers.

All that to say, a brand new Bass Pro Shop has opened in Niagara.  81,000 square feet of retail heaven.  We went on opening night, after the first rush.  Our friend Steve calls malls "Temples of Want".  He's hit the nail on the head this time.  The line-up waiting for the the ribbon cutting ceremony, in below zero temperatures, blowing snow and miserableness, had snaked around the parking lot waiting to get in!!!!

The lobby was welcoming.

The first thing to grab my attention were the animals mounted on ledges, EVERYWHERE!

I'm thinking these were not taken as trophies, but fed families thru long, hard winters, like my father did for our family when I was young.

The profusion of antlers here gave me pause....  I thought we were supposed to leave them lying in the woods for the forest creatures to reclaim, for them to disappear back into the environment...?  Does that only count if you find them already shed by the wearer and not count if you take the whole animal at once??  You can tell I am not a hunter.

The diversity of what's available for sale here is mind-boggling!
The hunting section was the biggest part of the store.

Hunting, high-powered.


Decoys, anyone?

These signs gave me pause.  I know exactly who would buy several of them....

There was something for everyone.

A festive spirit sparkled thruout the store, with Santa and his reindeer in attendance.

Camping has a section all its own.

As I wandered thru the foot wear section, this little guy appeared.

Of course, the fishing area held my interest for the longest time.

Not to put a jinx on anything, I just wanted to point out that I don't think I need one of these.  I will catch food to eat this winter, like all the winters before this one.  (fingers crossed)

Even though this is out of focus, I think Santa will be able to see that it really tickles my fancy!

If the hunting, camping, fishing displays didn't do it for some, there was a well-presented offering of outdoor-themed household goods to assuage their retail therapy needs.

The three of us in my group came home with a couple of shirts that fit "big and tall", a replacement netting for my fish net, a stainless steel camping coffee perk, stocking stuffers and the satisfaction of knowing our home town is now part of the Bass Pro Empire.  We have arrived!

How about you?  Do you frequent an outdoor equipment store?  Is it as much fun as this?

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