ABC 7 Exclusive: Bass Pro Shop coming to Sarasota?

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 8:00 pm | Updated: 5:15 pm, Tue Jul 8, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Fishing and hunting enthusiasts on the Suncoast may be in luck. According to Bass Pro Shop's 2013 Saltwater Specialist Catalog, a store is coming soon to Sarasota.

At this time, representatives from the outdoor megastore aren't saying much. Here is an email response sent to our newsroom from the store's Manager of Communications, Larry Whiteley:

We are still trying to figure out how that store got in that catalog since we have announced nothing. Doesn’t mean it might not happen but just means we have nothing to announce at this time.

After making a few phone calls, we learned Benderson Development may be involved. Benderson is currently constructing a mall on University Parkway near I-75 at Nathan Benderson Park.

Rex Burgher, Benderson's Executive Vice President, told us over the phone he could not make any comment at this time. Moreover, Benderson officials were unaware of the publication in the catalog.

As of right now, the closest Bass Pro Shop to the Suncoast is in Ft. Myers. It was recently announced that a 140,000 square foot store would be opening in Tampa sometime in 2014.

The opening of a store on the Suncoast would be great economic news for the area, likely creating 200-300 jobs.

Stay tuned for a report on the story coming up tonight at 11 on ABC 7.

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