For the last 27 of our 40 years as a firm, we’ve worked with our hometown’s national retail giant, Bass Pro Shops. From our early projects assisting the design team, to store rollouts, and more recently the nationally renowned Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, we’ve had the pleasure of working on a large variety of projects stretching from coast to coast.
Our firm’s relationship with Bass Pro Shops began with assisting their creative team on a bridge project at Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, MO. Our first Bass Pro store rollout was in 1995, and since then we’ve gained exposure across the country, working on projects in locations ranging from the Florida Keys to Detroit to Las Vegas and more.
In 1999, BRP helped Bass Pro Shops develop a retail prototype that would be called Sportsman’s Warehouse, an offshoot of their Outdoor World brand. BRP worked as architect of record, and assisted Bass Pro with implementing the second Sportsman’s Warehouse project in 2001 in St. Charles, MO. BRP has worked on Bass Pro Outdoor Worlds, Bass Pro Outposts, World Wide Sportsman stores and Islamorada Fish Co. Restaurants – more than 40 in all.
The focus in the design of every store is customer experience and their interaction with the merchandise. “The key is engaging Outdoor customers by introducing them to themed aquariums, taxidermy mounts, artifacts and images relating to the store’s region and area’s history,” explains Mike Harned, BRP Architect & Partner. He continues, “Folks who love the outdoors find their ‘Disneyland’ in Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Stores. As a result, retails sales are favorable.”
L-R: Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World – Denver, CO; Bass Pro’s Outpost – Anchorage, AK
Mike has been involved and led many of BRP’s Bass Pro projects over the years. To him, “One project that stands out is the Denver’s Outdoor World in Northfield Stapleton. Its heavy timber trusses and decking is symbolic of the grand lodges.” Another memorable project, Bass Pro’s Outpost in Anchorage, AK, “was a renovation project that brought new life to an existing shopping center along Glenn Highway. It was interesting to learn about design methods used in the region, along with logistical issues with shipping building materials and product.”
In 2017, the one of a kind Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened in Springfield, MO. It was voted America’s Best New Attraction and Best New Aquarium by USA Today. BRP served as Architect of Record in collaboration with the Project’s Designer, cosestudi, on the 60,000 sq. ft. Great Oceans Hall. The building, which serves as the main entrance to the museum, connects to Bass Pro Shop’s flagship store and the John A. & Genny Morris Conservation Center. “It was thrilling at every twist and turn throughout the four plus years engaged with the project,” Mike explains.
Bass Pro has had a huge impact on our community. “With the company headquartered in Springfield, it has been a major economic driver for tourism and employment,” says Mike. The massive flagship store is the number one tourist destination in Missouri attracting four million families, sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts every year.