Bass Pro Shops officially opened its long-awaited superstore inside the Memphis Pyramid on Wednesday, after more 10 years since Bass Pro first expressed interest in the location. At 32 stories tall, the monolithic structure has been transformed from an empty husk into an outdoorsman’s delight.

In addition to all the amenities that customers have come to expect from a Bass Pro Shops store, the pyramid superstore also includes a man-made cypress swamp (reportedly with live alligators), larger than usual archery and shooting ranges, a Ducks Unlimited waterfowl museum, a bowling alley, an observation deck at the peak of the pyramid, and a 105-room hotel. The pyramid’s most unique feature may in fact be its central elevator, which currently holds the title of the tallest freestanding elevator in America. Construction on the building took four years and cost an estimated $191 million.

“If you can’t be happy to see something like this, then you don’t have a pulse,” David Hagel, the store’s general manger, told the Star Tribune. “We’re more than retail.”

You can see the teaser for opening day below:

The store expects to bring in over 20,000 guests during opening day, and Bass Pro has hired shuttle services to help alleviate any parking or traffic issues. Celebrity appearances will include bass angler Bill Dance, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, Animal Planet host Ernie Brown, Jr., and musical performances by country music superstar John Anderson and vocalists Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye. Bass Pro will also be raising funds for habitat and wildlife preservation in its Evening for Conservation event. The store’s grand opening celebration is expected to last into the weekend and visitors can begin purchases on Thursday.

“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,” Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said in a 2012 press release. “We have assembled a team of remarkably talented artists and craftsmen to work on this project. We believe it’ll be one of the most dramatic retail stores ever created.”

Along with city officials, Bass Pro has long told Memphis-area customers that the store will be worth the wait—and it was quite a long one. The Memphis Pyramid first opened in 1991 as a 20,000-seat athletic event center and was at one point the home court for the University of Memphis men’s basketball program, and later the Memphis Grizzlies. When the Grizzlies left for the FedExForum in 2004, the pyramid hosted sporadic events but was mostly left vacant. According to the Springfield News-Leader, speculation that Bass Pro was interested in the location first surfaced in 2005, and the company reached an agreement with the city in 2008 to develop the abandoned structure. After exhaustive negotiation, Bass Pro Shops signed a 55-year lease for the pyramid in 2010 and shortly after took over construction, which took three years of renovations in addition to the retrofitting done by the city.

The Memphis Pyramid is the sixth largest pyramid in the world, coming after structures such as the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. It is slightly taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Article edited 4-30-2015 for spelling. 

You can watch a short time lapse of construction below:

Image screenshot of video by Bass Pro Shops on YouTube

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15 thoughts on “After 10 Years in the Making, Bass Pro Shops Opens Its Pyramid-shaped Superstore

  1. Built with the dollars of the hard working American men and women buying his cheap Chinese junk!!! Should be selling American made products in stores like Bass Pro!!! Johnny Morris should be ashamed!!!

    1. It’s only cheap because consumers like you won’t spend the money and the makers want to fill their pockets with large margins. Don’t be ignorant! I know you shop and walmart and expect to get things for next to nothing but expect it to be of high quality…you get what you pay for!

      1. That’s where you are dead wrong about me! I used to buy from Bass Pro, I used their Exel fishing line, great product, great price, made in USA. Then one day bought some spooled it up and noticed it didn’t feel right. After the third or fourth bird nest I looked at the box…made in China!!! Took it back, got a refund and haven’t darkened their door since. We don’t shop Walmart unless we have too!! We try and give our money to local mom&pop stores!! I CERTAINLY DONT MIND PAYING MORE FOR AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS!!!

      2. You are mad at bass pro for outsourcing? I always think it is funny when people say american made is better. 30-60 years ago maybe, but ultimately now it is made in the location that is quoting the cheapest prices. So even if it is made in america, you can bet that they are skimping somewhere to get their price low enough to make it worth the sellers while. They have to weigh the pros and cons and having that made in america stamp for the same product is going to get more business from people like you. Have you thought about how crappy our country…forget us have you thought about how crappy the WORLD would be if everyone thought like you!? “We aren’t going to buy “this product” because it is from a different country!” We as a world wouldn’t have half of the cool stuff we do, we as a country would have half of the business we do. Commerce has changed and unfortunately the american made products have changed. We no longer produce high quality goods and we also can’t compete with the low quality high volume producers.

        …just sayin

    2. Please,
      We’ve been in a global economy since the 80’s and Toyota and Honda can claim Made in America more than the Big 3.

      Redhead gear is actually pretty good and Bass Pro stands behind it. They also sell a lot of American made products such as Ruger, Leupold, and Redfield to name a few.

    3. You said it. I happen to live in Springfield Mo. Where the original Bass pro is. And I avoid it like the plague. My college age son wanted to go there one day , so zip took him. The first thing he noticed was that the very exact sunglasses he was wearing. He paid $10.00 for at walmart, cost $40.00 AT Bass pro. The same blister pack, with the same well known fisherman’s picture on it. Exactly the same, except for price. And yes it was made in China. I can’t speak for anyone else. But I’l never go back. And the pyramid was a bad idea from the start. As I was living in Memphis in the 80 s and even had my second child there. And remember the controversy surrounding it. And all the flooding problems, that I hope they’ve been able to deal with. Not to mention. It is located in one of the worst possible neighborhoods. Go if u want, but leave me out.

  2. You get what you pay for,Shannon, in many instances. One has to be a savvy shopper and know what kind of quality is good for the purpose and what will likely not hold up for long. Money is hard to come by. Retailers try to provide value to the consumer by selling the products they do. Some are clearly well made, but you have to pay the price for that. No one makes anyone buy anything. So enough of the Chinese Junk comments. It is just how it is these days.

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