Will Bass Pro live up to its potential?

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Hundreds of people turned out for the fanfare at the Bass Pro Wednesday.

Bass Pro made it a show stopper from concerts to flying "Elvis" in the parking lot.

Thousands of people then packed into the building to get a first glimpse of the new resort and retail shops.

City, county and state leaders said Bass Pro's opening night exceeded their expectations, and the crowd was bigger than they imagined.

Millions in city bond money was pumped into Bass Pro with the promise of jobs and tourism dollars.

The company said it will fuel the Bluff City's economic engine.

"I know we will get a million dollars of flat rent out of it and then sales taxes," said Mayor A C Wharton.

He was confident taxpayers would make their money back and then some calling Bass Pro an amenity to the city.

A destination the company was marketing worldwide.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said the Convention of Visitors Bureau will hype Bass Pro too.

"We have got to get out there and get people to take advantage of it," he said.

A Bass Pro spokesperson couldn't tell WREG how much revenue it expects to bring in and wouldn't even say if the hotel was booked.

Just that the company was pleased with the outcome.

So were some Memphis City Council members.

"Just coming here, it makes me imagine how many people are going to want to stop in Memphis," said Councilwoman Wanda Halbert.

"Think about the tax dollars we will generate. The tourism dollars we will generate," said Councilman Berlin Boyd.

Councilman Harold Collins was happy with opening night too, but said he was waiting to see how it played out.

"You have to figure out what the salaries will be for employees, what kind of liveable wage [employees] will earn, and how much of a strain will it be for Memphians to enjoy the hotel and visit it," said Collins.

City Council members said they were not given an estimate either on tourism revenue.

What did you think about the grand opening of the Bass Pro Shops?

Let us know!

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