I made a sales call this morning to the Bass Pro Shop in Ashland. I’ve been familiar with the concept, as I’ve been to the one in Hampton many times. Friends and acquaintances have always been wowed by the sheer size of the Bass Pro Shops across the country, yet I was always underwhelmed. The Hampton store simply didn’t wow me.
Today I realized why. It’s a “B” store. “B” stores in any national chain are smaller stores than their bigger, fancier counterparts.
The Ashland store is an “A” store. Definitely. It has a waterfall tank full of fish, glass elevators, a fireplace ready to roar in the lobby, a NASCAR shop, a winding cave/stairwell leading to the second floor, family photo ops, a burbling brook out front, and — most importantly to me — a quite impressive seafood restaurant. The Disneyesque theming everywhere is impeccable — period photos, log cabin architecture, a shooting gallery for kids…
It is a Disneyland for families who like to kill things.
I’m going again soon — not to shop, because camping, hunting and fishing involve roughing it; and my idea of roughing it is running out of toilet paper in my suite at the Hilton. I’m going again to try the Islamorada Fish Company for a nice seafood dinner. Let them kill it — I’ll just enjoy it going down, sautéed, with butter and lime, please.
Got a pinot grigio to go with that?