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History of The Bass Pro Shops Pyramid

Posted Jul 14, 2022

Big Cypress Lodge is located inside The Bass Pro Shops Pyramid, but this iconic building has not always been an outdoor paradise.

The Memphis Pyramid was originally built in 1991 as a venue for sporting and entertainment events, including many basketball tournaments, a Mary J. Blige concert, a Rolling Stones concert, a Mike Tyson boxing event and more. From 2002 to 2006, the pyramid was in use by a church.

In 2005, Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, went fishing on the Mississippi River. He set out with a couple of his fishing buddies; Bill Dance, the famous angler and TV show host, and Jack Emmitt, Bass Pro’s first fishing manager. When they got near the Memphis Pyramid, Johnny looked up and told them that he would build a store inside if they caught a 30-pound catfish.

Sure enough, with only about an hour left in the trip, his buddy, Jack, got a bite and reeled in a monster catfish in the shadow of the Pyramid. Without much hesitation, Johnny said, “It’s a deal, we’re gonna do it.”

In 2015, after a complete renovation, Bass Pro Shops and Big Cypress Lodge opened inside the Memphis Pyramid. Today, millions of visitors enjoy this one-of-a-kind attraction, and we hope you’ll join us for a taste of outdoor paradise in downtown Memphis.