Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Once upon a time, Buffalo courted Bass Pro to anchor the waterfront redevelopment plan. Years after Bass Pro decided to move on, it's buildng a store, anchoring a new mall in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario. A retail expert says Buffalo shouldn't feel slighted by this.
"Buffalo has been doing well with established sporting goods chains, Dick's, Gander Mountain, and others who sell fishing equipment," says Burt Flickinger, a retail consultant with Strategic Resource Group.
Flickinger, a Buffalo native, says Canada has more tourists who stay more days, and also is seeing rising employment, and disposable income.
Flickinger notes those who fish in Buffalo did so infrequently, as he learned when he conducted a study. He says Buffalo was a questionable site when it came to viability, even with government subsidies.
Flickinger says Bass Pro's plans for Niagara-on-the-Lake should be water under the bridge for Buffalo.
"Psychologically, it's a major positive for Buffalo because now Buffalo can develop the waterfront like Baltimore did, where that turned into a major tourist attraction," explains Flickinger. "Bass Pro would have been an anchor as opposed to an attraction after the first few years."