(Memphis) No, it’s not quite as big as solving the secrets of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, but this tour finally reveals some of the mystery of where Bass Pro Shop’s renovations stand inside the Pyramid in Memphis.
Bill Dance is known as the world’s most famous fisherman. He was on hand to show his support of the project.
“It will be one of the biggest attractions Memphis has ever seen. I’ve seen the blueprints. I’ve seen the layout and I’ve seen what the finished product is going to look like and it will absolutely blow you away,” Dance said.
Memphis City Council members and WREG got a chance to see what progress has been made inside the vacant arena.
At first glance, you will still see just a large shell of a building and construction crews at work.
Banners hang around the arena to show where amenities will be.
The floor is mostly dirt.
There’s also a pit for alligators. It’s been dug, but not filled yet.
But Bass Pro Shops say the building will be ready to open in 2014., and that’s even though the project was originally set to be completed last year.
Tom Jowett is a Bass Pro Shops architect.
“We are very excited to announce the opening for the store will be approximately December first,” Jowett said.
He says the company will meet its deadline.
“We’ve actually made significant progress. We are on schedule,” Jowett said.
Bass Pro Shops showed off plans for its 100 room hotel inside the Pyramid, along with an observation deck and restaurant on top of the building, a giant aquarium, bowling alley and waterfall, an archery range and retail stores.
George Little is the chief administrative officer for Mayor A C Wharton’s administration.
“It’s hard to conceive the changes that already have been made, but it’s hard to conceive just what a difference this will make for the city, overall, and the north end of downtown particularly,” Little said.
It’s the transformation of what used to the basketball arena known as ‘the tomb of doom’ and it may once again breath new life into a building that’s also a Memphis landmark along the Mississippi River.
“The two things I want people to understand: it’s really happening and it will open by Christmas and the city will recoup its money,” Strickland said.
Strickland also said the sales taxes generated at the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid will pay for the city’s multimillion dollar investment in the project and the city will break even creating jobs and increase tourism.