Palm Bay, located midway between Jacksonville and Miami on Florida’s east central coast, offers some of South Florida’s most beautiful natural resources–freshwater springs, saltwater marshes, pristine beaches and nature reserves. Residents and visitors can swim, dive or go boating in Gulf Stream-warmed Atlantic waters, enjoy freshwater or saltwater fishing, hunt turkey, deer and other wildlife, or hike, camp and bird-watch in the area’s many recreational areas.
The new 80,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Stick Marsh Outpost, located at 750 Bass Pro Drive NE, is a tribute to South Florida. It offers something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors, whether it’s camping, fishing, hunting, boating, birdwatching and more. The new Bass Pro Shops Palm Bay store will outfit the area’s many outdoor sportsmen and women, in addition to the one to two million people who visit the Brevard County area annually. The store will open Wednesday, Dec. 4, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony that begins at 6 p.m.
The store’s imagery, murals, and displays reflect the region’s geography and wildlife populations. From palmetto and pine forests to mangrove-lined estuaries; saltwater marshes to unspoiled beaches; from deer and hogs, bobcats and turkeys, ducks and cranes, ibis and heron—all find their place inside the store.
Bass Pro Shops – Store, Museum, Art Gallery, Entertainment and More
Bass Pro Shops’ uniquely designed, award-winning stores are often considered to be part museum, art gallery, antique store and aquarium, and centers for conservation education and fun. They also offer the area’s largest selection of high-quality outdoor gear as well as a staff of dedicated professionals who promote the outdoor lifestyle and live it as well. In fact, Bass Pro Shops has been voted best in delivering service excellence two years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates.
Using many area artifacts, antiques, period pictures, state record wildlife mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of the region and its hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies.
Learn About Bass Pro Shops Dedication to Conservation
Since the beginning, Bass Pro Shops’ Founder Johnny Morris has been dedicated to inspiring people, especially youth and families, to love, enjoy and conserve the great outdoors. That commitment, demonstrated over the course of several decades, is a big reason why Bass Pro Shops is known as the outdoor industry’s corporate conservation leader. Bass Pro Shops’ has partnered with and supports the efforts of many conservation organizations that work to conserve and manage the nation’s natural resources. The company’s key conservation initiatives include fish and wildlife habitat improvements, conservation and outdoor skills education, improving water quality and quality of our lakes and springs, and conservation advocacy.
The Conservation Partner Wall, which is located near the checkouts at the Palm Bay Bass Pro Shops Stick Marsh Outpost, reflects that commitment to conservation with a display showcasing the logos of national conservation groups that Bass Pro Shops partners with.
“The people of our company believe very strongly that the future of our industry, the sports we serve, and the sports we personally enjoy are absolutely more dependent upon our conservation efforts and how we manage our natural resources than anything else,” said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “It is far more important than any catalog we mail, any new store we open, or any new product our vendor creates.”
Decorating With Nature in Mind
Hand-painted murals wrap the store’s interior and depict familiar scenes of the region. One gets the sense of traveling through Florida’s landscape as the murals transport the viewer through a series of panoramic vistas—all beautifully replicated with the stroke of an artist’s brush. Through the use of special lighting techniques, the murals take on a living, breathing quality.
The lobby is designed to resemble an old South Florida hunting/fishing cabin constructed of a variety of miscellaneous boards and leftover wood pieces. It features many antique boats, motors, hunting and fishing supplies in addition to white-tailed deer, hog and fish mounts.
Other murals and dioramas throughout the store include:
- A mural depicting a Florida savanna and the St. John’s River basin is painted on the walls of the hunting, and camping departments. A diorama of a Florida panther can be seen stalking a group of hogs and Osceola turkeys while a herd of white-tailed deer run across the savanna. Overhead, a flock of mallards can be seen flying across the Florida wetlands.
- In the fishing department, the mural features the Stick Marsh portion of the St. John’s River basin. Largemouth bass, crappie, bream, gar and catfish swim around the submerged trees of the Stick Marsh.
- The fly shop mural portrays the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon while the Sebastian Inlet and Atlantic Ocean mural appears in the saltwater department. Snook, flounder, Goliath grouper along with other fish swim across the bottom of the Sebastian Inlet while a school of dolphin swim below the Sargassum seaweed in the offshore scene.
- A diorama in the camping department features a canoe on the banks of the Econlockhatchee River.
The murals are unique in the fact that what starts out many times as a simple painting extends into an actual fish or wildlife mount or some other property creating a 3-D effect. Vintage photos and antique gear complete the scene and highlight the area’s original sportsmen and women.
A 16,000-gallon freshwater aquarium is a focal point of the store. The aquarium will be stocked with more than 100 fish native to the area such as largemouth and striped bass, black/white crappie, longnose and shortnose gar, redfish, bowfin, bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo and miscellaneous sunfish.
Wildlife Exhibits Showcase Florida Species
Museum quality wildlife exhibits and dioramas are seen throughout the store. At any moment visitors could expect to come upon a flock of Osceola turkeys in the live oak scrubs, white-tailed deer grazing on the savanna, or a Florida panther stalking wild boars.
The waterfowl of South Florida are represented as well in exhibits displaying mallards, pintails, scaup and fulvous. Frigate, heron, white egret and roseate spoonbill are also featured.
Bass Pro Shops’ dedication to detail is evident wherever visitors look as artisans work to create a visual style unique to that store, including handcrafted ornate metal fire screen doors, iron railings, sconces and more.
The Merchandise Matches Local Shoppers’ Needs
But the attention to detail doesn’t stop with store design and imagery elements. The same consideration is given to merchandise selection. Visitors will have the area’s largest array of freshwater and saltwater rods, reels and fishing accessories to choose from – all specially selected for the area.
The White River Fly Shop, featuring antique and collectible fly fishing memorabilia, has a vast selection of the latest in fly fishing gear. Experts will continue the art of hand-tying flies on site and assist customers in making the perfect selection.
In the hunting department, customers will find an equally impressive array of hunting clothing and gear while the archery department offers a bow set-up shop and a 20-yard archery range.
More than a hunting and fishing store, visitors also will find items perfect for camping, hiking, outdoor cooking, bird watching or whatever their outdoor pleasures may be. A gift and nature center offers a variety of items such as:
• Bird feeders
• Home decorating items
• Gifts for the holidays
• Cooking accessories such as cookbooks, spices, grills, and jerky making items.
A wide selection of men’s and women’s footwear and apparel, featuring popular brands including Columbia, Offshore Angler, World Wide Sportsman, and RedHead, are also available.
The marine and boat center displays a full range of boats from Tracker Marine, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats. From big water boats to small fishing boats, canoeing and even kayaking, customers will find exactly what they need to have fun on the water with selections from Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe, Sun Tracker, Mako, Ascend and more. An on-site, state-of-the-art boat service center with three service bays also will be available for customers’ convenience for boat rigging as well as a full-time master service technician. In addition, Bass Pro Shops is the nation’s leading Arctic Cat dealer.
Bass Pro Shops Stick Marsh Outpost has hired 200 associates from the Palm Bay area. In addition, the store will offer free outdoor skills workshops throughout the year for adults, kids and families that will help maximize outdoor fun by teaching new skills and improving existing ones.
A special Evening for Conservation to help benefit area conservation groups will take place the night before the official grand opening. This exciting, celebrity-packed event is free and open to the public. Information regarding this event will be available soon. For more information regarding the Palm Bay Bass Pro Shops Stick Marsh Outpost visit http://www.basspro.com/palmbay.
See a general video about Bass Pro Shops:
Image and video courtesy Bass Pro Shops