NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three months after Opry Mills flooded, and there is still no timeline for when the mall could reopen as a whole, but one of its anchor stores has set a date.
Bass Pro Shops has announced that it plans to reopen in time for Christmas.
The major rebuilding work inside the store has been completed, and workers are now busy repainting murals inside.
Managers said the shoe department is moving, but other than that, the store should look the same as it did before the flood.
Crews started repairs on the shopping center, which covers nearly 1.2 million square feet, shortly after the May flood.
Marketing Director Lynn Kittel said she does not know how many of the 200 tenants at the mall will return.
She would not say why a date has not been set to the reopen the entire mall.
Two of the stores, including Banana Republic Factory Store and Ecko Unlimited, have already moved to Prime Outlets in Lebanon.
Several other stores could begin the process of also signing leases there.
Other stores, like Athletic retailer Finish Line, hope to return once the mall reopens.
Renovations are ongoing at the Nashville Aquarium and Rainforest Café.
Landry's Restaurants Inc., which operates the restaurants, hopes to reopen them along with the mall's future grand opening.
Many of the stores are still cleaning before they can start the rebuilding process.
The mall is owned by the Simon Property Group, and once employed about 3,000 people.
Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Opry Mills typically draws shoppers from cities up to 100 miles away, such as Jackson and Cookeville.Spyridon said if the mall is not ready to reopen for the Christmas season, it could make sense to wait until the spring tourist season.
Gaylord Opryland has already said it plans to reopen the Opryland Resort and Convention Center next door on November 15.*The Tennessean contributed to this report.