The CEO of Gander Outdoors' parent company said he wants to have a store on Central Park Drive in O'Fallon, but it will not be in the building that formerly housed Gander Mountain.
Camping World acquired Gander Mountain in May 2017 and changed the name to Gander Outdoors.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
O'Fallon city officials said they have been in talks with Gander Outdoors representatives in hopes of bringing the store back to the city.
"We don't have a plan. We don’t have a project, so it’s not official yet, but discussions are underway, and that's public knowledge," said Walter Denton, O'Fallon city administrator.
"They're not going into the old store, and they want to develop a new store. We're working to that end to bring them back into the community," O'Fallon Mayor Herb Roach said.
As is his signature, Lemonis, in January, took to social media to make several company announcements on the closings and re-openings of various Gander Outdoors locations nationwide due to the company's financial crises. One of those announcements said that a Gander Outdoors location would open in early June at 1230 Central Park Drive, but that will not happen.
City officials said the buildings owner is now pursuing other options.
"The property owner, Darrell Shelton, confirmed the building, is up for sale or lease currently," Denton said.
Meanwhile, O'Fallon officials said they are continuing talks with real estate developer David Wittenauer, representing the retailer, who declined to comment.
"I'm hoping we get everything locked up and put to bed with them, but these things take time and are complicated," Roach said.
The company has shown interest in other parts of Illinois. Last week, Camping World also announced plans to open new super centers in Rockford and Marion by the end of the year.
"As we continue to expand our network and portfolio, we are driven by our customer’s expectations for convenience and personalization in their shopping experience, while looking to enhance their outdoor adventure experience," Lemonis said in a Camping World press release, dated April 19. "We are focused on fulfilling the needs of our consumer base and will continue to research new market opportunities to deliver on areas best for the outdoor enthusiasts’ community."