Council votes to end Pyramid services contract

Memphis City Council members cut the last strings tying their pockets to the Pyramid, voting to opt out of the deal that provides concession equipment for the building, slated to be shuttered at the end of the month.

"The great country western star Hank Williams, Jr. Said 'turn out the lights.' Well, we're turning out the lights to the Pyramid. I think it's over," said Councilman Jack Sammons.

But, predictably, it will cost you. To end the Aramark services contract early, city government will have to pay 400-grand.

"It's my understanding that we made a deal with Aramark and they said if for any reason we shorten the length of the contract, we have to pay out the cost of the equipment," said Councilman Scott McCormick

Shelby County will have to pay the same, adding further cost to a building in waiting.

McCormick says the termination fee means the City and County basically buy the concession equipment, like icemakers and stainless-steel sinks. "If we're buying that equipment, I want to see it go to the coliseum, liberty bowl stadium, there's a lot of other facilities we might be able to move that equipment to."

But the end of the services contract literally heralds the slow-end of government upkeep here. Jack Sammons says the Pyramid may not be lifeless for long. "I had some participation in the talks with Bass Pro and I still remain optimistic. So hopefully we'll get there," he said.

In the meantime, it's still costing you.

Roland McElrath - the Finance Director at City Hall - says the concession equipment will be re-used. Since the City is basically buying it - he says - it will be put to use at some of the city's other facilities.