Bass Pro Shops kicked off an, ahem, monumental undertaking when it began construction of a new “retail environment” in Memphis, Tenn. The store-cum-entertainment-center will be located inside the famous Memphis Pyramid, former sports arena for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis men’s basketball program.
At 321 feet tall — about 32 stories — Memphis Pyramid is considered the seventh largest pyramid in the world. The new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail space will encompass about 220,000 square feet and will feature a floating dock, island, aviary, zip line stations, water-themed bowling alley, and Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill. The company said it is also planning a three-story hotel that will offer balconies allowing guests to step out and view the store, natural landscapes and giant cypress trees swamp area below.
As with other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, this one will also include an archery range, shooting range, rifle tube and laser arcade for kids of all ages. A 24,000-gallon aquarium will showcase fish native to the area, while a boat showroom will feature models from Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe and Mako. There will be museum-quality wildlife dioramas, historic Mississippi River scenes, hand-painted murals and a waterfowl museum. Wow!
“We are all excited to have a chance to use this incredible space to create one of the most visually unique and exciting retail stores in the world,” said Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris. “I remember trying to make up my mind about putting our store in the Pyramid. I was on the Mississippi River fishing with my buddies Bill Dance and Jack Emmitt and said, ‘If we catch a big catfish, it’s meant to be.’ Sure enough, with about one hour to go, Jack got a bite and caught this catfish in the shadow of the Pyramid. I said, ‘It’s a deal. We’re gonna do it!”
Well, that’s one way to make an important business decision.