PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — Bass Pro Shops has spent millions to buy thousands of acres of land in Putnam County.
However, there's hardly any paper trail showing what the plans are.
A large area of cleared land outside of the town of Welaka, east of CR 309, belongs to Bass Pro Shops.
There appears to be no document in Putnam County offices for the mega retailer’s plans for that piece of land.
A county official tells First Coast News that land is deemed agricultural and for now, if future actions are agricultural in nature, Bass Pro Shops does not need a permit to clear the land. But that’s a lot of land, and a company executive has said Bass Pro Shops is considering expanding the owner’s nearby resort, the Floridian Sports Club which is in Welaka.
It has other resorts in other states catering to the outdoors.
Some longtime Putnam County residents welcome the company's expanded presence.
Mark Doughty grew up in Putnam County in the 1950's, and lives close to the property owned by Bass Pro Shops. He said, "I know we are going to have some change but I’d rather see controlled change managed, well managed change." He believes the company will be able to do that.
The only document on file with the county regarding Bass Pro Shops’ plans indicate some ponds on land along Cisco Dirt Road which several miles away from the owner’s current resort.
So far, the retailer is keeping its plans quiet.