WESTOVER, W.Va. – Bass Pro Shops and WestRidge, Inc. have announced plans to open a new destination retail location to anchor WestRidge Crossing, a new mixed-use development.
Envisioned as a tribute to the great sporting heritage of the region and a celebration of sportsmen in West Virginia, the customized location will build on the signature qualities that define the award-winning Bass Pro Shops shopping experience combining retail with entertainment, conservation and outdoor education, according to a press release.
“As a lifelong outdoorsman and fisherman myself, I can tell you that having a Bass Pro Shops store at the new WestRidge development by Morgantown will be a total game-changer for our state,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said. “It will make the area an absolute destination location for anyone and everyone who loves the outdoors across the entire region. I can’t wait to visit for myself when it opens.”
A five-story, first-of-its-kind boat display tower will showcase industry-leading brands. In addition, the 10,000-square-foot boat center will display a wide assortment of new ATVs and side-by-side vehicles.
“West Virginia, the Monongahela River area and nearby southwestern Pennsylvania are some of the best regions in the country for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “We are thrilled to be part of this fantastic new development in Morgantown and look forward to bringing our iconic outdoor brands including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and TRACKER Boats and ATVs to outdoor enthusiasts in the area.”
The retail location will offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping and other related outdoor gear. A gift and nature center will feature a wide variety of outdoor-related items, from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture. Men’s, ladies’ and children’s apparel sections will offer a wide assortment of national brands, according to a press release.
In addition, a team of artists and craftsmen will design the store’s completely customized imagery to reinforce its immersive outdoor theme. The signature creativity and attention to detail are hallmarks of every experience from Johnny Morris, who is often referred to as, “The Walt Disney of the Outdoors” for his knack for creating experiences that connect people with nature.
Bass Pro Shops locations feature a large aquarium and water features stocked with native fish species, thousands of local antiques and artifacts, hundreds of trophy fish and wildlife mounts and murals depicting local scenes.
Conservation will also play an important role in the store’s mission, according to the release. The new location will host dozens of events throughout the year aimed at connecting new audiences to the outdoors. Hands-on demonstrations and interactive activities will be offered, such as “Gone Fishing,” an annual event which aims to introduce families to fishing through catch-and-release ponds, casting games and free fishing seminars, with the goal of creating the next generation of conservationists. The store will also support local conservation organizations that protect wildlife and habitat.
“We are thrilled to be announcing Bass Pro Shops at WestRidge, where they will be located directly on Interstate 79 – right at the front door of our 1,000-acre mixed-use development,” said Holly Childs, Director of Business Development & External Relations for WestRidge. “We are confident that WestRidge will be a huge success for the Morgantown region and the State of West Virginia. Bass Pro has an incredible draw as a true destination retailer and will be an amazing anchor tenant.”
“The decision by Bass Pro Shops to open their first West Virginia store in Monongalia County speaks volumes about the economic strength of the Morgantown region. This project confirms that WestRidge is well positioned as a super-regional shopping destination, and will continue to create new jobs and investment in our county,” said Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom.
Bass Pro Shops is expected to employ more than 100 “outfitters” at its new Morgantown location, many of whom will come from the local region. Employment information, when available, will be posted online.
Bass Pro Shops, which joined forces with Cabela’s in 2017, also has locations in Charleston and Wheeling, West Virginia. Construction timing and an opening date will be announced in the following months.