Doomed to disappointment

HMS Ganim runs afoul of reality

HMS Ganim runs afoul of reality

Bridgeport hopes for spillover effect from new Bass-Pro store. In fact, that was one of the main arguments in spending state funds to subsidize the project. But the store is south of  I–95, on its own peninsula, and, like a casino, is designed to keep customers inside and spending; no one who’s driven fifty miles to ogle bass boats and shotguns is going to be particularly interested in schlepping up to Bridgeport main, to risk a mugging for a taste of Geraldo’s Genuine Enchiladas. Ain’t gonna happen.

Bass Pro’s Bridgeport store was the chain’s eighth and final opening of the year in North America. The business says it brings in 120 million visitors annually, even as the average shopper only goes twice a year, store officials said, making each trip an event.

“This is experiential shopping,” Jerry Van Huis, vice president of retail at Bass Pro Shops’ Missouri headquarters, said during a tour of the store last week. “It’s about differentiating yourself from the Internet.”

With a restaurant, bar, bowling alley and other attractions all within its four walls, Bass Pro Shops is designed to bring people in and keep them there. The store enjoyed a hugely successful opening last week, and promises to draw thousands of people into the city. But the gains it provides are to some degree self-contained.

The most significant barrier to Steelpointe Harbor’s effect on the rest of the city remains the elevated I-95 overpass that separates the development from the East Side. North of the highway is a neighborhood of homes and businesses that has long been in need of an economic jolt, but the Bass Pro business model doesn’t necessarily lend itself to neighborhood exploration.

“This is a full-day experience,” Van Huis said.

Well, maybe after that full-day experience, the guys in flannel will wander outside and give the hookers some business, but that’s probably about it.


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10 responses to “Doomed to disappointment

  1. Libertarian Advocate

    The reason that Bass put that shop in BPT is because the state underwrote the costs. The reason the politicians in this state chose to underwrite Bass’ store is so it would look like they care about BPT. Optics are EVERYTHING to Demoncrats. Reality? Meh…..

  2. The voters of Bridgeport are overwhelmingly democrat. There are about 4,000 registered Republicans in a city of about 70,000 registered voters.
    It tells you all you need to know about the Democrat party, that Mayor Ganim, a convicted felon was re-elected mayor there this month.

    Unfortunately these idiots also elect your Congressman Jimbo Himes.

    “On March 19, 2003, Ganim was convicted of 16 federal counts: one count each of racketeering, extortion, racketeering conspiracy, and bribery; two counts of bribery conspiracy; eight counts of mail fraud, and two counts of filing a false tax return.” (Wikipedia) He served seven years in prison.

  3. They’ll get some sales tax revenue and probably a few jobs but that’s about it.

  4. 3 x 2 = 7

    NY Times real estate section for today: On the Market in Bridgeport – house for $699,000; RE tax $37,298 a year. Now we know why no Republicans live there. That is even worse than Westchester!

  5. Fed Up

    Passed the store this morning….it’s huge and all I could think of is how many fisherman/hunters in Bridgeport? Maybe 3.

    Don’t think they can survive at that location. Can’t believe someone was able to convince management that the store will en successful.

    Over/under on when they pack up? 2 years.

    • FF

      I think the hard time that I have with some of the commentators on this blog is the lack of acknowledgement that something else might be afoot in Connecticut other than the dictatorial mind control/abject failure seen by you all in everything that happens. This is the owner of Bass Pro Shops. He is a billionaire many times over. He is a paleo-Republican of the highest order who spreads zillions of dollars around to Republican causes. So I first defy you to challenge me by running down his good name by accusing him of somehow needing to suck off the government theft of Connecticut or somehow accusing him of being in league with a (criminal) Mayor who has yet taken office.

      You might, however, contemplate that the location of the Bass Pro Shops at the confluence of Route 8, which provides easy transport to upstate lakes, rivers and fishermen to their shop, and I-95, which provides easy regional access to the vast amount of fishermen and boaters along the shoreline, makes some sense. You might also consider, had you visited the property, that it is designed to essentially not be integrated at all to Bridgeport either from an access standpoint or even as an off-ramp, and that a smart retailer might decide to have a number of self-contained entertainments there to ensure that non-fisherman in the family cannot “veto’ the trip to bridgeport because of a lack of involvement in the product.

      Its called “regionalization”. I passed a Cabelas outside of Lancaster PA which is about the size of Greenwich High School. There are apparently 500 people in that town. Lots of guns for those 500 people. Meanwhile, Connecticut has issued 434,000 hunting licenses in the past 5 years. I’d think a billionaire could get a good location and service them all, especially in the state with the highest per capita income in the country.

      • Don’t argue with much of that – my point was that it is indeed a self-contained destination, and the hopes of local businesses in downtown proper that there will be a spillover effect are destined to be dashed.
        As for a businessman taking government subsidies, sadly, there’s no such thing as a Republican or Democrat when it comes to dipping a hand into other people’s pockets.
        Personally, I think the most entertaining thing coming up in Bridgeport will be Ganim’s resumption of his grafting ways.

        • FF

          I have an over under of six months. I can tell you from the “inside” chatter I hear that the man is unrepentant. He will be rearrested, idiots will wonder how it happened again and the only people harmed will be the dopes who voted for him

  6. Just the Facts

    What do you guys think is going to happen when you put one of the nation’s largest firearm purveyors inside the illegal gun capital of CT? It might even get so bad that straw men buyers will be selling the guns right in the huge parking lot. It’s been said that this is the Democrats way of solving the crime problem in Bridgeport. Arm all the bad guys and let them kill each other off….way to go Malloy! JTF!

    • desidog

      Good point. The gun store that used to be up there, D’Andrea’s, got driven out of business because the guns they sold turned up at crime scenes frequently.. one nail in the coffin was the Times Square would-be bomber bought a gun there.