This week's opening of outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops' Anchorage store is being welcomed by many residents as both a springboard for new businesses and a turning point for Mountain View.
Even though there's a lot of fanfare for the Wednesday official opening of the outfitting chain's Outpost store, the biggest cheerleaders may be the big-box retailer's next-door neighbors. They are eager to benefit from the increased number of people expected to come through both the Glenn Square shopping center and the neighborhood in general.
After two years of work and the hiring of about 200 employees, Bass Pro Shops is preparing to make its presence felt on the Last Frontier.
"We picked this location because of the value, and it's got a great frontage area right off the (Glenn) Highway," said Pat Nolde, the new store's general manager. "Plus it's being revitalized -- this whole community is being revitalized, and we think we can be apart of that."
Jump-starting Mountain View is what brought Bass Pro Shops neighbor Xalos Mexican Grill to the Glenn Square area. After 13 months, co-owner Arturo Martin says he knows the area has potential, despite the square not being fully occupied by stores.
"I always had faith in this location," Martin said. "I didn't even know Bass Pro was coming or anything like that, but -- it's like, why not?"
The Anchorage Community Land Trust, which focuses on improving Mountain View, says ongoing expansion has already answered Martin's question.
"Bass Pro is going to become a big anchor for Glenn Square; I think they are going to bring a lot of businesses here," said Radhika Krishna, a community development associate with the trust. "We already saw rents rise, we've seen other businesses want to move into Glenn Square."
A spur in development that businesses are embracing. Now the hope is Alaskans will embrace them too.
"I know it's good for business because this is going to bring tons of people from the Valley and Anchorage," Martin said.
Some 28 of Bass Pro Shops' new Anchorage employees live in Mountain View. Other businesses moving into the square include a brewery and a second location of Midtown eatery Kriner's Diner.