Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor retailer, has picked Irvine for its next Outdoor World superstore.
More than just a hunting and fishing store, Bass Pro offers premier gear and clothing for hiking, camping and backpacking. It also sells ATVs, off-road vehicles and top-brand fishing boats at factory-direct prices.
The 140,000-square-foot retail destination is expected to open by early next year in Alton Marketplace, an Irvine Company property just off the 5 freeway in the Irvine Spectrum District.
“We are tremendously excited to work with Irvine Company to bring our vision to life,” says Johnny Morris, who founded Bass Pro Shops in 1972 in Springfield, Missouri. “There is no stronger company to work with in the region focused on the outdoor, coastal lifestyle.”
Morris says one reason he chose Irvine is because it is surrounded by the largest urban open-space network in America.
Immersive outdoor features
The Irvine store will offer Outdoor World’s hallmark “immersive experience, handcrafted by a team of talented artists and craftsmen,” Morris says.
Think of a rustic national park lodge with a soaring wood-beam ceiling, boulders and trees.
Walls are adorned with hundreds of trophy fish and murals depicting local outdoor scenes. Wildlife dioramas feature bears, elk and coyotes and would fit right in at a natural history museum.
As with all Bass Pro shops, it will feature an immense freshwater feature decorated to match the local environment and stocked with trophy fish native to the area.
Outdoor skills workshops will teach fly fishing, Dutch-oven cooking, GPS navigation and archery hunting with an in-store archery range.
A commitment to conservation
Bass Pro is highly regarded for its commitment to conservation.
Morris says the Irvine store will serve as “a community partner in protecting the region’s natural spaces and pristine ecosystems for future generations.”
It will host scores of events throughout the year to connect audiences to the outdoors, including free fishing seminars, casting games and in-store catch-and-release programs to teach kids the basics of fishing. Last year, over 100,000 kids caught a fish at Bass Pro Shops events.
A humble start
Morris got his start 50 years ago selling lures and bait in the back of his father’s liquor store.
He now operates more than 200 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores, serving over 200 million outdoors enthusiasts each year.
He is often referred to as “The Walt Disney of the Outdoors” for stores that include waterfalls, saltwater aquariums, ocean-themed bowling alleys and, in the Memphis Pyramid shop, in Tennessee, an observation deck overlooking a cypress swamp with 100-foot-tall trees, alligator pools and duck aviaries.
In 2021, Bass Pro Shops was recognized as the most trusted outdoor retailer in the U.S. by Reputation.com. While Forbes named Bass Pro Shops “One of America’s Best Places to Work.”
How a $6 Bass Pro Shops hat became a fashion trend
The Wall Street Journal recently featured the latest in spring fashion: Bass Pro Shops’ $6 mesh-backed cap with open-mouthed fish logo.
The hats, which have long been popular with those who grew up reeling in catfish, recently became fashionable with those who never touched a fishing pole.
“The budget hats embody the company’s goal of offering customers value,” says John Paul Morris, the chief customer officer of the Springfield, Missouri-based company. “We love seeing our customers out there wearing their Bass Pro hats.”
They can be purchased at Bass Pro’s website or stores – and soon in Irvine.