Does this store make my bass look big? You bet it does.
It is welcome news that in an age where many U.S. brick-and-mortar shops are shutting their doors in favor of a portable but impersonal online presence that Bass Pro Shops has converted a Tennessee icon—the Memphis Pyramid—into Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid.
Creating the mega-store of all mega-stores and a new beacon for outdoor enthusiasts, the stainless-steel clad Pyramid, which has towered into the sky along the Mississippi River since it opened in 1991 as a sports and entertainment complex, is now home to the 32-story (60-percent size of the Pyramid at Giza in Egypt) destination experience.
The new location in the family of Bass Pro locations features a wilderness hotel called Big Cypress Lodge, just shy of 600,000 gallons of water features, a cypress swamp with 100-foot-tall trees, an interactive Waterfowling Heritage Center (sponsored by Ducks Unlimited) and The Lookout, a glass-floored observation deck at the top of the structure.
“With an array of retail, educational and fun attractions for guests of all ages, Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid is much more than a store; it’s one of the most dynamic, captivating retail adventures in the world,” said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “The Pyramid is a truly must-see destination for outdoor lovers and families from across the country.”
The building's interior was completely redesigned prior to its grand re-opening. Upon stepping inside the 535,000-square-foot space, guests are dropped off in a giant cypress swamp environment with ponds, 100-foot cypress trees, an 84,000-gallon alligator habitat and underwater ecosystems. A nautical-themed restaurant and bar—Uncle Buck's Fishbowl & Grill—is home to a saltwater aquarium and 13-lane ocean-themed bowling alley. Big Cypress Lodge, a 103-room wilderness hotel inside Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, is the first hotel inside any Bass Pro Shops location. The Pyramid also offers direct access to the Mississippi River for local, regional and national fishing tournaments.
Another signature experience inside the Pyramid is the new Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center, an interactive wetlands education museum showcasing the history of waterfowling and wetlands conservation.
If, somehow, you can find the time, you can actually doing a little shopping, too.
“Throughout the entire process it has been inspiring to work alongside Johnny Morris,” said Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton. “Johnny is kinda like the Walt Disney of retail as far as creating exciting customer experiences. It’s been fun to work with Johnny and the remarkable Bass Pro Shops team to make sure that every detail, from the signature décor of the Big Cypress Lodge to the alligator pond, will create as unique experience that will launch the Pyramid as a national tourist destination.”