Study to gauge financial viability of competing Pyramid plans - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Study to gauge financial viability of competing Pyramid plans

Memphis and Shelby County leaders debated the Pyramid's future at a joint meeting Monday. Memphis and Shelby County leaders debated the Pyramid's future at a joint meeting Monday.

Memphis and Shelby County leaders debated the Pyramid's future at a joint meeting Monday.

The big question: Will Bass Pro Shops ever set up in the Pyramid, now that the Ericson Group has a proposal to spend $250 million to put a theme park in the empty arena?  We could know in about a month, after city and county leaders agreed Monday to pay for a study of both proposals.

Now, two accounting firms will look at the financial viability of Bass Pro's $200 million dollar plan and the Ericson group's plan. The study will cost no more than $100,000, and will be paid for by the city and county.
 
Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone said it would be money well spent.

"It is very important for us to know that both entities have the financial wherewithal to support a project with the Pyramid, so we're looking at it as an investment," Malone said.

Malone acknowledged there have already been other studies, but this one is to appease City Council members and County Commissioners who want to be sure when they vote.

Memphis Economic Development Director Robert Lipscomb said Bass Pro is still interested in locating a mega store in the Pyramid.  Lipscomb believes Bass Pro is the best idea, because it can tie in with other tourist attractions in Memphis.

"We're going to elevate Memphis to a whole new tourist destination place, 'cause now we're talking about Elvis...Beale Street...Bass Pro," Lipscomb said. "That's all the same kind of customer.  Instead of somebody coming here a day or two days, visiting Elvis, they might want to stay here five days."

Libscomb said theme park customers would mainly be from this area, not tourists from around the world.


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