ANCHORAGE — Bass Pro Shops, a successful sporting goods chain in the Lower 48, plans to open its first Alaska store next year, the company said Tuesday .
The store will be located in the Glenn Square Shopping Center in Mountain View.
"We plan to have it open by this spring," Bass spokesman Larry Whiteley said in an interview from the company's headquarters in Springfield, Mo. "Just in time for fishing season."
The store will sell hunting, fishing, hiking and camping equipment.
Whiteley said the store will occupy 100,000 square feet and employ about 200 people.
Chain stores now at Glenn Square include Bed, Bath and Beyond, Petco and Old Navy. The shopping center has been plagued by a lack of commercial users since it opened in 2008. Bass will remodel and expand existing space and create a wetlands nature center in the 3-4 acre parcel adjacent to the store.
Whiteley said Bass's decision to open a store in Anchorage was influenced by how many Alaskans visited its stores in the Lower 48 or order from the company's catalogue and internet sites.
The company currently has 77 stores, most in the eastern half of the U.S. The closest store to Alaska is in Calgary, Alberta.
Each store is unique, Whiteley said, "Almost a natural history museum of the area they're in." Popular features include aquariums with live sport fish native to the area.
Bass's announcement follows this summer's announcement by the Cabela's sporting goods chain that it too plans to open a store in Anchorage.
The Cabela's store will be built at King Street and 104th Avenue, just south of Target. It is expected to open in 2014.
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