Hey y'all, I didn't find any posts/threads using the search on this topic.

How many folks in the Calgary area have made the drive out to the new Bass Pro Shop at the "Balzac Mall?"

I drove out there yesterday to check it out after a friend was talking about the place. My first impression was that the store is really nice and really big. I was surprised to see a good selection of boats, both fishing and speedboat (watersports boats.) I don't think that the boats are any better priced than the few boat shops in Calgary (and of course they don't have the same amount boats to offer nor do they have the really high end speedboats.)

They had a large selection of fishing and hunting gear and a lot of customers were in those areas. I didn't check out that stuff myself because I wasn't interested.

I spent a lot of time in the camping department. I was fairly disappointed though. I didn't think they had a very good supply of tents. They didn't really have anything that couldn't be found at smaller camping stores in Calgary and their prices weren't any cheaper. I expected prices to be somewhat better. Various things like campstoves and cookwear and such weren't any cheaper than Canadian Tire or Campers Village. I recently bought some new tent pegs (the really strong, foot long ones) at Campers Village which they had available in bulk at $0.80 a piece. The same ones were available at Bass Pro Shop but not in bulk, they came in a package of 4 at $4.50. There was also a lack of staff in the camping department. I saw many staff in the boating, clothing and hunting areas but very few in the camping area.

They had a large stock of clothing, both regular clothing and specialized stuff (hunting, fishing stuff.) They also had a large stock of footwear. I didn't spend too much time checking things out but it seemed as though they had a good variety of hiking shoes and boots. I did buy a nice pair of flip flops which were one sale for around $20 (marked down from around $50.) It looked like there was only one guy working in the footwear area and he seemed to be overwhelmed with customers.

Overall, the store was nice and seemed to have a lot of stuff. I would, personally, stick with shopping at the local stores in Calgary though. The local stores offer better service (in my opinion) at similar prices. I do prefer Mountain Equipment Coop and Campers Village and even Ribtor. Unless Bass Pro Shop has deep discounts on something that I'm looking to buy I won't be back there too often.

I'd love to hear to what others think about the new store.