Aquarium not out for Pyramid - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Aquarium not out for Pyramid

Last week officials with Bass Pro Shops said they were in preliminary talks to takeover the Pyramid. The Pyramid Utilization Committee is the group that has been studying the various proposals for the future use of the facility. Now their ability to make a sound recommendation has come into question. Jim Phillips can picture a aquarium inside the Pyramid.

"We think this will bring in every year 100 million dollars in revenue to the city," said Phillips, of Aquariumemphis.

And it can all be done with private funds according to this proposal by Aquariumemphis. Phillips helped prepare the study which includes letters of interest to finance the entire $70 million project. Six months ago the group pitched their idea to the Pyramid Utilization Committee.

"And we got 20 minutes and they said they'd be back to us, we never heard another thing," said Phillips. The lack of consideration is raising concern about whether the committee is doing its due diligence in considering the best options.

"I just don't know how this committee can do its job unless it completely vents out you know a number of these top proposals and you know twenty minutes lets face it is not taking a hard look at us," said Phillips.

"We haven't been informed of any of the deliberations or any of the process up to this point," said city councilman Scott McCormick.

City Councilman Scott McCormack says the committee is scheduled to come before the council in December. But it may be pointless.

"If this contract didn't involve money and was only an agreement its quite possible that both mayors could enter into this agreement without approval from either of their legislative bodies," McCormick said.

Jim Phillips hopes that whatever decision is made will be in the best interest of taxpayers.

"We're frankly concerned that the wrong thing might end up in our city's icon our city's landmark," said Phillips.

Scott Ledbetter the head of the Pyramid Utilization committee has not returned my phone calls. We also wanted to ask city CEO Robert Lipscomb about the proposal review process, his assistant told me today that Mr. Lipscomb has no comment at this time.

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