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Wonders of Wildlife officials hope to reopen the attraction in early April.
SBJ file photo
Wonders of Wildlife officials hope to reopen the attraction in early April.

WOW temporarily closes; Bass Pro stores remain open

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Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium is temporarily closed, though his Bass Pro Shops stores are still open for business.

WOW shut down yesterday at 5 p.m. and is targeting an early April reopening, according to a news release.

"We are watching ongoing developments very closely and will make decisions based on the latest information," officials said in the release.

WOW spokeswoman Shelby Stephenson said the attraction recorded 3 million visitors since opening through Dec. 31, 2019. She declined to estimate the attendance impact caused by WOW's temporary closure.

Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien said via email the company's stores are remaining open. Bass Pro has 169 outdoor retail stores under its name and the Cabela's brand, according to its website.

"We remain open and plan to remain open to help serve customers, but we are closely monitoring the situation," he said. "We would formally announce any changes."

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department yesterday announced potential exposure at Bass Pro and its Hemingway's restaurant. According to a news release, international travelers who had contact with the fourth local individual who tested positive for COVID-19 visited Bass Pro in Springfield.

Other sites affected are the Branson Landing, Ocean Zen, The Big Biscuit on South Campbell Avenue and Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, according to the Health Department.

Branson Landing owner Rick Huffman issued a statement indicating the group only walked the boardwalk along Lake Taneycomo.

"They did not walk in any shops or eat at any of the restaurants. We have stepped up cleaning of all public facilities and have notified our tenants to do the same," Huffman said in the statement. "We are carefully monitoring the situation. We remain in constant contact with local officials to ensure that we are doing what is best for our community."

In Springfield, Battlefield Mall announced it would close until at least March 29 over coronavirus concerns.

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