Bass Pro commits to Pyramid - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Bass Pro commits to Pyramid

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The CEO of Bass Pro Shops said at a meeting with city and county leaders Monday the retailer will turn the Pyramid into a new super store which will also include a 200 room hotel and restaurant.

In front of the City Council, Pro Shops President Jim Hagale made his pitch for the Pyramid.
"We have never wavered in our enthusiasm and our commitment. We are absolutely committed to make this work," Hagale said.

The plan is to turn the Tomb of Doom into a shopping destination.  City officials believe than 500 jobs will be created by the development, and the facility could be open by 2011.

According to Hagale, details are far from complete, but early plans include a 200 to 250 room hotel, an aquarium and a conservation exhibit.
"Economic development drives progress, it increases revenue so the city can maintain infrastructure, pay for schools, provide public safety," Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton said.

Herenton signed off on the development agreement, but it is not a done deal - the agreement lasts a year.

Bass Pro must pay $35,000 a month in rent and finalize plans.

The city and county must generate $30 million to help finance the project.

If both sides hold up their end of the bargain after a year, then they agree to a long term lease. But first, the city council and county commission must sign off on the year long development agreement.

It is far from a guarantee, Hagale said, but Bass Pro is in for the long haul.

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