Addition of Hotel Rooms Could Slow Pyramid Renovation

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(Memphis) More hotel rooms could cause the Bass Pro Shop renovation of the Pyramid to slow down and possibly delay the opening. 

The entire Pyramid has been gutted, and the steel that holds it up has been reinforced.

Crews are now updating the seismic foundations so the building stays up in the case of an earthquake. 

That's something Mayor A C Wharton said should have been done when the Pyramid was built, “We were in haste when we built it the first time and did not see that it was built to the seismic codes and we have to do it right the second time, and now it's costing us more."

Crews are fixing that problem by driving steel into the ground so the Pyramid can move in case there is an earthquake, but the addition of hotel rooms would mean more steel is needed.

The current plan is one hundred and ninety hotel rooms inside the building with the core of the hotel rooms on the plaza level connecting to Front Street,” said Project Manager Allen Barner.

The hotel rooms make up about twenty million dollars of the budget, coming from both Bass Pro and taxpayers because more seismic foundation work needs to be done. 

The city's leader for the project says it's worth the wait.

“That will redefine Memphis, and it needs to be the best it`s going to be.  So if it needs a little fine tuning I think we`re ok with that,” said Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb.

The City is still planning on Bass Pro to open as planned in 2013, but it may take a little longer to complete those hotel rooms. 

Jim Dereign is from Missouri and stops by the Bass Pro on Sycamore View whenever he's in town, “This is super here and if they're going to make that even more super I can't wait!."

The city says the entire project will cost well over 200 million dollars.