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Independence, Missouri-(March 29, 2006)-City officials, project developers Crackerneck Creek, LLC and Bass Pro Shops representatives held a groundbreaking ceremony, Wednesday, March 29th to mark the official beginning of construction on the new Bass Pro Shops retail store in Independence. Located on the southwest quadrant of I-70 and I-470/M-291 Highway, the 150,000 square-foot outdoor store will feature a more than 7,000 square-foot Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant and a lodge themed hotel. The store will anchor the new 180-acre lifestyle development that will also offer nature trails and an outdoor nature park to be built by the City of Independence along with an 18-acre lake.   "As I said when we first announced this project, the big one did not get away," said Independence Mayor Ron Stewart.  "From now on, when you have friends and family visiting from out of town, you will want to take them to this area before you go to other regional destinations." Regarded as part museum, part art gallery, part education, conservation and entertainment center the Independence store  will offer some of the same signature features of other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores. However, as typical in stores in other geographic locations, this newest Missouri Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will be uniquely designed to pick up the local flavor of the area's outdoor heritage and include state record fish and wildlife exhibits and historical pictures and artifacts from local hunters and fishermen.  Surrounding the store and hotel will also be a wilderness wetland area for wildlife. Of all the 33 Bass Pro Shops stores to date, the Independence Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will offer up a totally unique design.  It will feature a large 6-story atrium allowing all the store departments from fishing and hunting to camping and boating to be completely visible and easily accessible from a central ramp.  An awesome 4-story interior waterfall in the atrium will showcase large game wildlife and a rock climbing wall.  The water will descend into a 30,000 gallon freshwater aquarium stocked with record-size game fish.  Museum-quality wildlife dioramas will be located throughout the store. The 7,500 square-foot Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant (pronounced 'eye-lah-mah-rah-dah') will serve up a wide variety of fresh seafood entrees sure to tempt any taste bud. A concept born in the late forties in the Keys as a marina snack bar, it has grown over time into a first-class restaurant offering fresh fish, shellfish and other Crustaceans, smoked meats and wild game, rotisserie broiled fowl, great steaks, sharable appetizers and daring desserts.  Diners can enjoy recipes and a relaxing way of life normally found only in the Florida Keys.   "We are excited about bringing Bass Pro Shops to Independence and pleased to be a part of this major new development," said Bass Pro Shops President Jim Hagale.  "We believe we have put together a winning combination with the store, hotel, restaurant, wetlands area, lake, nature trails and outdoor nature park to give local residents and visitors to this area the maximum outdoor experience."   "Bass Pro Shops is without a doubt an important project whose economic impact will greatly benefit the region," said Mayor Ron Stewart.  "New jobs will be created and tourists will not believe their eyes when they see what's in store for them here.  It's going to be amazing."  Other Missouri Bass Pro Shops retail stores include locations in Columbia, St. Charles, Branson and the granddaddy store in Springfield.   Officials attending the groundbreaking included Independence Mayor Ron Stewart, City Manager Robert Heacock, Crackerneck Creek, LLC developers, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops Director of Conservation Martin Mac Donald. "Out of all the competitive sites available to Bass Pro Shops, we are excited and honored they have selected a location in Independence and especially a site that will provide such unique amenities," said Byron Constance, one of the members of the development group, Crackerneck Creek, LLC.  "The 18-acre lake, streams, waterfalls, 25 acres of walking trails and nature park are all combined in an incredible 'outdoor world' setting designed to provide an extraordinary one-of-a-kind retail shopping experience," he continued. Bass Pro Shops visitors will be able to purchase most everything they need while visiting and enjoying the outdoor opportunities in the Independence area by shopping selections of fishing, hunting, camping and marine items, visiting clothing, gift and footwear departments, or dining at the Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant.  The store will also feature an expansive boat showroom featuring Tracker, Nitro, Mako and SeaCraft boats all built by Tracker Marine Group-the world's largest manufacturer of fishing boats. Recognized for their conservation efforts and outdoor education programs, Bass Pro Shops will staff approximately 250-300 associates from the area that have a passion for the outdoors so customers will be assured of getting local skilled, knowledgeable assistance with product selections and questions.  The store will also offer Outdoor Skills Workshops for adults, kids and families that will help maximize outdoor fun by teaching new skills and improving existing ones. "Our company has won more awards for our conservation efforts than any other outdoor retailer in America," commented Director of Conservation for Bass Pro Shops Martin Mac Donald.  "We look forward to being involved with local conservation efforts to help preserve our outdoor traditions for future generations." Call 816-795-4300
18001 Bass Pro Drive,
Independence MO

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