Happy New Year!

Posted On Friday, December 30, 2016

The Connection wishes all of our readers a very Happy New Year and we look forward to posting items of note in 2017 for your reading pleasure!

A recap of 2016 follows –

The MS Braves opened 2016 at Trustmark Park with the College Series in March, 2016 with Spectrum Capital offering special deals for tickets, box seats and also sponsorships.  The March 30th game pitted Southern Miss (Golden Eagles) vs MS State (Bulldogs) and was sponsored by Trustmark National Bank. The game drew close to 6,000 fans (a record for the College Series Southern Miss vs MS State game!) who packed the MS Braves Stadium and cheered MS State on to their victory of 13 runs versus 5!! It was a close game until the end with lot’s of strategies employed by the coaches of both teams.  Opening night (at home for the MS Braves at Trustmark Park) of the regular season in 2016 was April 7th.

We look forward to the MS Braves 2017 season, which at this writing will be April 6th at 7:00 pm and the MS Braves will face the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp for the opening home game!  Check back in January for the full calendar of MS Braves home games on The Connection’s homepage (Events @The Connection).

The Alumni House Sports Grill at the nearby Holiday Inn was a hot spot during 2016, serving food and libations to travelers to Pearl, MS; hungry and thirsty Trustmark Park game goers; and exhausted shoppers from the Outlets of Mississippi and Bass Pro Shops looking for a respite and a place to put their feet up and relax!

Bass Pro Shops was host to events like BBQ & Boats, Hoppity Bunny at Easter, camps for kids (Gone Fishin’) when school was recessed for the summer, and more!  Bass Pro Shops also announced that they will merge with Cabelas in a $4.5 billion deal whereby Bass Pro Shops would buy Cabelas. From their press release issued on October 3rd, they said “It is with tremendous pride that we share with you the great news that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have agreed to combine our iconic brands to create a truly premier retailer in outdoor sporting goods. This merger of resources, experience and passion for the outdoors represents a unique opportunity for both companies and our people to create the best-of-the-best shopping experience for outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for generations to come. Under this agreement our company will remain private with a long-term view to do what is best for our people, our customers and to maintain our steadfast support for conservation.”

Congratulations go out to everyone at Bass Pro Shops on the merger which is anticipated to close in 2017!

Cavender’s is anticipated to open at The Connection in early 2017! We’ve been watching the progress from the turn from Highway 80 onto Bass Pro Drive –  trucks filled with dirt – foundation being poured – and walls going up! Founded in 1965 by James Cavender in Pittsburg, TX, Cavender’s is a retail chain providing a variety of western wear. Corporate offices are now located in Tyler, TX. This family business is known nationwide for its western wear including cowboy boots, western clothing for men, women and children, along with accessories, western hats and gifts. Cavender’s carries brand names such as Ariat, Rafter C, Miss Me Jeans, Corral, Lucchese and Tony Lama Boots, and Wrangler, to name just a few. More information on Cavender’s can be found at www.cavenders.com.

Right now, Cavender’s is expected to open its doors in early 2017 and we look forward to welcoming them to The Connection!

The Outlets of Mississippi has had a banner year in 2016 with new stores opening – Bath & Body Works, Doc Popcorn, francesca’s, Hunter’s Pointe, VF Outlet – and stores expanding their footprint such as Rue21!

The Outlets of Mississippi hosted a number of charity events, like the March of Dimes walk, Go Red for Women dinner (benefitting the American Heart Association), the Stuff the Bus event (benefitting the Greater Jackson Boys & Girls Club), Shop Pink Luncheon (benefitting St. Dominic’s cancer care and research), the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society Walk, the ALS Walk, and its long association with Make-A-Wish during November and December where ornament and gift wrapping sales benefit this worthy cause, just to name a few. Fun events like the Carnival that came to town in May (North American Midway), Kings of the Street (Team Shelby of MS Chapter), the annual Nike Fit Fest Frenzy at Halloween, along with the snow and Santa arriving at the Center in November (yes, snow!), are sure to be reprised in 2017!

The Outlets of Mississippi also announced a Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) Supercharger Station and recently provided an update on this installation – since the opening of the Tesla Supercharger Station in March, the Station has powered over 213 Tesla vehicles, converting to 33022 miles travelled and 28639 pounds of CO2 emissions reduced by Tesla customers! Thus far, Tesla has built 743 Supercharger Stations in North America. The Outlets of Mississippi now has eight (8) Superchargers for all Tesla owners to use as they visit the shopping center, or are just traveling through.

The biggest news from the Outlets of Mississippi was their shopping center train attraction!  Dubbed the Outlet Express Train, the train is the first of its kind in the State and riders (both children and adults) have been loving their experience on the train. Check the Outlets of Mississippi’s website, www.outletsofms.com for current schedules. Tickets may be purchased at The Outlets of Mississippi’s Visitor Services (Suite 535) or at the station, and rides are $3.00 (lap children ride free!).  All aboard!!!

We hope to report more events during 2017 and look forward to your comments – Happy New Year!