View Full Version : Boo Hoo- OKC Bass closes

08-06-2004, 03:41 PM
I don't believe for a minute that this is to blame on Bass Pro Shop. That place on N. May Ave. was being put out of business by Academy long before Bass PRo came to town. You have to remember that OKC Bass on N. May was one of the companies that faught Bass Pro. They were just waiting for the right time to close so they could blame it on Bass Pro. Long before Bass Pro opened, I'ddrive by that store and the parking lot was always empty. OKC Bass is right there near Lake Hefner. They actually have a better location for local fishing than Bass Pro does. If they can't make it, it's their own fault. The the 2 employees probably left OKC Bass for Bass PRo was because Bass Pro was paying better and offered benefits! All I have to say is Boo Hoo!


OKC Bass closes doors

By Jennifer Pierce

The following is a script from a NEWS 9 broadcast
The sign says it all. This metro outdoor and fishing store is closing it's doors for good after 19 years of business.

The owners of OKC Bass say it's a case of the big fish eating the small fish.

The owners of OKC Bass say they knew the end was near when Bass Pro Shops moved into town.

The shelves are still stocked full, but the regular customers are gone.

But every now and then someone will stop by despite the sign on the door.

Now the owners of OKC Bass are left wondering what to do with everything.

John Dalgren laughs now, but it wasn't funny when he and his brother realized the store had caught its last fish.

John blames it on Bass Pro Shops.

John closed the store for good last week.

So what will happen with all of the merchandise inside these doors? John says at some point they plan to auction off the goods.

Besides their claim of losing business to Bass Pro, John says he lost two employees who went to work for Bass Pro.

08-06-2004, 06:20 PM
When I read the title, I thought Bass Pro closed? Then I realized it was the tiny place. Oh well.

08-09-2004, 08:22 PM
Here's the sign of a sore loser:

Small-fry store gets caught in net of Bass Pro Shops

By Tricia Pemberton
Business Writer

Ever heard the tale about the one that got away?
The owners of OKC Bass at 7929 N May Ave. put a sad twist on the adage recently when they closed the doors of the 19-year-old store.

John and Chuck Dahlgren said they are the first casualties of a deal between Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City.

"We want the city to do well, but everybody's incensed that the city is helping them compete against all of us," Chuck Dahlgren said.

John Dahlgren said he sunk between $400,000 to $500,000 into OKC Bass when he bought the store in 2001 from former owner Shane Kern.

That was before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and before the brothers knew Bass Pro Shops was coming to town.

"We got hit with one sucker punch after another," John Dahlgren said.

In addition, the Dahlgrens said they weren't told the truth about Bass Pro Shop's intentions.

The brothers said they met with Burt Steinberg, president of American Rod & Gun in Springfield, Mo., the wholesale distributing arm for Bass Pro Shops.

"We asked him straight up if they were coming, and he said 'no,'" Chuck Dahlgren said.

"He even told us he's sick and tired of these rumors and there's no truth to them," John Dahlgren said.

Steinberg said he never told the men Bass Pro was not coming to Oklahoma City.

"I could not assure anyone at any particular time that Bass Pro would not go into a city. We never promise anyone," he said.

Bass Pro opened in November 2003, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

"If we had had Christmas and the tackle show, we could have survived," Chuck Dahlgren said. But with the loss of sales, the brothers decided to close shop. Now, they're deciding how best to liquidate their stock.

It's this scenario Oklahoma County District 2 Commissioner Brent Rinehart said he hoped to avoid when, as a city councilman, he voted against the city paying almost $19 million to build the 110,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops. The retailer is scheduled to repay the loan through a 20-year lease agreement and through sales tax.

"I didn't think it was a proper role of government to be in the retail business. And my worst fears have happened. This has had a devastating effect on other small businesses," Rinehart said.

Other retailers agree.

"We welcome competition, we just don't prefer the city to fund it," said Colby Hane, manager for four years at River's Edge in Oklahoma City.

Hane said his business was initially down about 60 percent after Bass Pro opened.

"They killed us at Christmas, but now that the novelty has worn off, we are starting to see a pick up."

River's Edge recently sold to new owner, Jason Barrett.

"He felt with the right advertising and the right products, with revamping and remodeling, we could be more profitable than ever before," Hane said.

David Gochman, president and chief executive officer of Katy, Texas-based Academy Sports and Outdoors, said he's also felt the sting in Oklahoma City stores, though Academy posted revenues of $1.5 billion last year, a 13 percent increase from 2002.

"For us, it is an irritant. It is unfair and it does hurt our sales, but it is a death sentence for smaller family-owned stores," Gochman said.

Mayor Mick Cornett said he too was concerned with government getting into the retail business, but "the opportunity for growth outweighed the risks." As an Oklahoma City Council member, Cornett voted in favor of the deal.

"There's no question that Bass Pro was a catalyst of all the really good things that are happening in Bricktown," Cornett said.

Larry Whitely, manager of corporate public relations for Bass Pro Shops, said the complaints are isolated.

"A lot of outdoor stores are doing well in other markets by finding their little niche," Whitely said.

He also dismissed claims that new stores in Broken Arrow and Garland, Texas, would affect projections for the Oklahoma City store. Whitely said privately held Bass Pro does not release sales figures.

John Dahlgren, blinded in an accident 10 years ago, said he got into the fishing tackle business to keep busy and get out of the house. He said he'll chalk up the expensive loss as a lesson learned.

"You can't live your life being bitter, even though you've got good reasons," he said.

A sign on the door of OKC Bass explains to customers the owner's perception of what happened to the business: "This Fish Got Fried."