Tuesday marked the groundbreaking of a brand new, $35 million dollar, Bass Pro Shop along The Walk in Atlantic City.
NBC40 spoke with some Atlantic City residents who warmly welcome the new store and are looking forward to the added jobs it will bring to the city.
Bernard Nelson and Duncan Fitzpatrick are both unemployed South Jersey residents who say they can't wait for the job opportunities that the new Bass Pro Shop in Atlantic City will be bringing to the area. Fitzpatrick said, "Apparently it's going to bring a ton of jobs to the city and hopefully I can get one of them. Any full-time or part-time work, I’m interested." Nelson added, "I would apply today! Definitely!"
Officials with the project say the groundwork for the site is already being prepared, and in about a year, the 86,000 square foot structure will be complete. After today's groundbreaking ceremony, it's official; hundreds of jobs will soon be coming to Atlantic City."
New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno, explained, "It's 500 construction jobs in an area that really needs construction jobs right now - and then Bass Pro tells me that they are going to have upwards of 200 jobs in the building. Now some of them will be full-time and some of them will be part-time."
The massive outdoorsman's paradise will be the first of its kind in the state and will feature a fish themed restaurant and bowling alley, museum quality fish and wildlife mounts, massive aquariums, a laser arcade, and an expansive selection of outdoor sporting goods, all of which are expected to reel in new tourists to the city.
The Cordish Companies have overseen the development of The Walk since the project’s inception back in 2002. Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies, told NBC40, "It's unique from pretty much any other retailer. The average store draws customers from over 50 miles. They bring millions of people a year to each store."
2nd District Assemblyman, Chris Brown, explained, "When you add one more destination to a resort, working towards becoming a total destination resort, we are definitely moving in the right direction."
In addition to the added jobs, the store will provide more than 200 much-needed parking spaces for the walk.
John Palmieri, Executive Director of the CRDA, said, "We believe this will be a game changer, again, we are trying to find uses that are game changers."
CRDA officials provided the land for the store, which is assessed at 11 million dollars.
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