Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid has exceeded expectations when it comes to drawing visitors and shoppers through its doors, but it is mission not accomplished when it comes to bringing the Pinch district back to life. A Pinch rejuvenation, we hope, will eventually come if the city can hold off a mishmash of proposed development projects that will diminish efforts to develop an aesthetically pleasing, quality unified plan.
Of more immediate consequence, having Bass Pro attract 3 million visitors a year after it opened should quiet the naysayers and, so far, justify the direct city expenditures of at least $105 million to help convert the vacant sports-entertainment venue into a unique retail and tourist destination. Bass Pro was 10 years in the making, stubbornly pursued by former city of Memphis Housing and Community Development director Robert Lipscomb. Once Bass Pro chairman and founder Johnny Morris agreed to the deal, he set out to create a special store in Memphis.
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