The shopping complex flooded in early May. The rest of the mall remains closed.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bass Pro Shops at the Opry Mills Mall reopened Saturday, more than four months after the May flood.
While the rest of the mall remains closed, with no definite timeline for reopening, the store has its own entrance and was able to reopen.
When the Cumberland River overflowed its banks in early May, General Manager Greg Cole said they had merchandise floating all over the store.
"It was unbelievable," he recalled, "fixtures floating and falling over and all that."
The store opened its doors at 9 a.m. Saturday, much to the delight of customers.
"I've been waiting for months for this place to open!" Clyde Slagowski told News 2. "I'm down here looking around, seeing what they got, [and] telling them what they don't [have] so they can get it in."
Customer Al Thomas added, "I was driving down the interstate and saw the sign that said Bass Pro open and I said, 'I‘ve got to come in and get some stuff!' Even stuff I don't need, I'm going to buy something."
Even Cole couldn't hold back his enthusiasm.
"We're extremely excited to be reopening our store today. You know, the flood on May 2, we've been closed ever since then and we've had to totally redo the whole store, inside, a lot of the outside, as well, but everything inside is brand new," he said. "It's like we have a brand new store."
Cole told News 2 the store was able to keep many of its employees on the payroll because they helped with the cleanup and rebuild.
"It's actually pretty amazing, because our crew helped," he said. "We had to disassemble the store before we reassembled it so there was a lot of work and effort went into that. We were able to keep our employees employed for about two weeks just getting everything out of here and then we were actually able to pay them for four weeks after that, as well."
He added, "We've had the whole team back for quite some time doing the rebuild, so it's been great to have everybody back to work, and kind of minimize the disaster for them."