Bass Pro Shops
Visitors flock to Bass Pro Shops, not least of all for its gorgeous location nestled along the leafy banks of majestic Lake Ray Hubbard. The Bass Pro Shops however also offer not only great views, but an impressive 120,000 square foot store that is complete with a 13,000 gallon aquarium full of saltwater aquatic life. There is also an arcade here and there are live demonstrations held throughout the day. If you get hungry here, then you can dine at the onsite restaurant or bar and there is even a private sand beach here for patrons to enjoy. As if all of this wasn’t enough, you can also pick up any fishing tackle that you need, as well as camping and other outdoor equipment. BPS Direct, L.L.C, doing business as Bass Pro Shops, is an American privately held retailer which specializes in hunting, fishing, camping and other related outdoor recreation merchandise. With headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, Bass Pro Shops has a workforce of about 40,000. Bass Pro also owns Cabela’s, another retailer that specializes in similar categories.
Bass Pro Shops started in 1972 when Johnny Morris started selling fishing tackle out of his dad’s Brown Derby Liquor Store in Springfield, Missouri. His father, John A. Morris, was a World War II veteran and often took the family hunting and fishing. Johnny Morris has said his parents, Genny Morris and John A. Morris, taught him to love fishing, hunting and the outdoors. The first Bass Pro Shops catalog was created in 1974. In 1978, Morris introduced Tracker Boats, the first boat, motor and trailer package designed for anglers. In 1981, Morris opened the first Bass Pro Shops outdoor store in Springfield. 7 years later, in 1988, he opened Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Along with the lodge, the resort includes five golf courses, the Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve, Lost Canyon Cave, the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum; and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre wilderness refuge dedicated to conservation, preservation and education.
The company’s marine manufacturing division, White River Marine Group, includes several marine and off-road brands that manufacture fishing and recreational boats. In May 2021, the company acquired the Hatteras Boat company based in New Bern, North Carolina. In 2017, Morris opened the Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield’s Bass Pro Shops, which is considered the largest wildlife attraction in the world. In the same year, Bass Pro Shops struck a deal to acquire Cabela’s for about $4.5 billion.