In Auburn, which has a population of 27,000, the Bass Pro outlet has single-handedly transformed the nearly vacant Fingerlakes Mall, located on the city's outskirts, into a retail hotbed, according to Bulkley. 'A year ago there were maybe six tenants in the mall. Now it's nearly 100 percent full and you can't find a parking place on weekends,' he said. 'Even in the middle of winter, they are coming in from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Montreal to shop at Bass Pro.'People from Mass., PA, or Quebec don't come to Cheektowaga to shop at Dick's, nor to Tonawanda to shop at Galyan's, by the way.
And those visitors also are spending money and time at other Auburn-area businesses and attractions, boosting revenues for established stores, and reeling in a laundry list of new retail and hospitality companies. Bulkley said the Bass Pro store often finds itself providing 'concierge services' to its thousands of out-of-town customers, directing them to local food, lodging and entertainment. 'They come for Bass Pro, but they look for other things to do while they are in the Auburn area,' he said. "And let's not forget: the Bass Pro in Auburn is about 1/3 the size of the one in the Aud, which will boast a hotel, restaurant, and museum.