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Commissioner reaches out to Bass Pro Shops

New Port Richey, Florida -- With Bass Pro Shops struggling to work out a deal to open a 150,000-square-foot store in Hillsborough County, a Pasco County Commissioner is reaching out to the retailer to see if they can be lured to the Wesley Chapel area.

"Pasco isn't just going to sit back," said Pasco County Commissioner Pat Mulieri.

Mulieri told 10 News she was going to send a letter to Bass Pro on Thursday to gauge their interest in opening a store just north of the Hillsborough/Pasco county line near I-75.

Mulieri decided to write the letter after hearing Bass Pro officials met on Tuesday with a Pasco Developer.

See Also: Legal fight between local business and Bass Pro

The company has been looking to open a store in Brandon, but a multi-million dollar plan to bring the retail giant to Hillsborough County has been drawing fire and now Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan says Bass Pro is starting to scout alternative sites.

Mulieri says an incentive package similar to what is being discussed in Hillsborough to bring the outdoor retailer to Pasco wouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker.

"You know, I've watched it and I know the incentive money was kind of high and I was reading, I've followed it but I do believe that we really have to look at it seriously, see what we can do and then reach out," she said.

But while excited about the prospects of Bass coming to Pasco County, Commissioner Henry Wilson stressed they have to make sure it's a good fit for all parties involved.

"Do I think it's one of the target industries? I'm not set on that yet, because we're trying to bring in high pay dollars and I don't have the research and don't know much about Bass Pro Shops to see if those are the types of jobs we're trying to bring into the county," Wilson said.

A spokesperson for Bass Pro could not confirm Tuesday's meeting with a Pasco developer.  She only repeated that it's the company's goal to open a store in Hillsborough County.

Follow 10 News Reporter Preston Rudie on twitter @PrestonRudie


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