More Than A Bait Shop: Things To Know About The New Bass Pro

More Than A Bait Shop: Things To Know About The New Bass Pro

Want to see the new Bass Pro Pyramid in Memphis? Here are some things you need to know.

Also, if you missed it, check out the "50 Things I Saw At the Bass Pro Pyramid" post.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.46.31 PM
Photo by Joey Miller, on assignment for I Love Memphis.

1. When does it open? Wednesday, April 29 at 6 p.m. There is a special event called Evening For Conservation on that night. You can shop, it's free to go, and there will be famous people and music, too. I anticipate a crowd level of: bonkers. They're having special events through the weekend. See the whole schedule here.

2. When does it open for real? See #1. For real. It's open to the public. But if you're talking about regular store hours, those begin on Thursday, April 30 at 8 a.m. I expect a crowd level throughout the weekend of: super bonkers.

3. What will be the regular store hours? Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until midnight and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., though I did hear a rumor they might actually be closing at 11 p.m. each night. I will update as soon as I get clear info.

4. What all is inside? I'm going to break this down a bit. If you want to see more and pictures, click here.

a) Retail: clothes, shoes, boats, outdoors supplies, accessories, gifts, toys, all the equipment you could ever imagine needing for hunting, fishing, guns, and more.

b) Attractions/extras: aquariums, ponds, a gun shooting range, an archery range, a small arcade, a bowling alley, and the nation's largest freestanding elevator.

c) Restaurants: Uncle Buck's Fishbowl has your standard bar/grill fare, a bar, and bowling alley. The restaurant that's in the top of the Pyramid is called "The Lookout" and was rumored to be an upscale catfish place. There's also a fudge shop in the main retail area.

d) A luxury hotel called Big Cypress Lodge. There are 104 rooms and prices start at about $260 a night. It also has a spa and conference space.

5. Can I go bowling inside? Yes. Uncle Buck's Fishbowl will have 13 lanes of bowling. Pricing info was not available during my tour on Monday, but I was told that the lanes will be first-come, first-serve for the first 90 days, so be ready for some waiting.

6. Is there a shooting range/archery range/aquariums/alligator tank/boats/ponds? Yes.

7. Is it really going to open on time? Yes. I was inside the Pyramid on Monday afternoon (April 27) and there were several hundred people working (fast! they were movin' it!) on completing details both inside and outside. It seemed like most everything big was ready, though. I wasn't able to go up in the elevator to the observation deck or restaurant, so I can't speak to that. I think they'll be ready in time for the event on Wednesday.

8. How do I get there? The main parking lot and entrance is on the South side of the Pyramid. You turn right by the Visitors Center. But you might not want to count on getting in the main lot. See #9 below.

IMPORTANT: If you are coming from the expressways, take the Danny Thomas exit and follow signs to Pyramid parking.

9. Where do I park? Here is a map of parking lots, including information about the free shuttle service that that MATA is running on Wednesday and Thursday. Read more about it here.

Over the weekend, the free shuttles will be gone, but MATA will still run buses with the regular $1 fares with a stop at Bass Pro. You'll be able to see an updated parking map here before the weekend.

If you're going this weekend, remember that it's also Beale Street Music Fest from May 1-3. I'd seriously consider taking advantage of MATA, planning ahead for a cab (call at least an hour ahead), ride-sharing services, walking, biking, dropping by parachute/drone, etc.

10. Can you go up in the elevator / Is the elevator free / Is there a restaurant or bar at the top? Yes / No / Yes. Anyone will be able to go up in the elevator to the observation deck. Once you're up there, you can just observe or you can get a spot at the restaurant and hang out and drink/eat.

If you want to go up in the elevator, it's $10 per person, but the views are apparently incredible. I'll be checking it out myself ASAP and reporting back. (Just as an FYI, the Empire State Building is $32, the Space Needle is $21, Skywalk at Grand Canyon is upwards of $70.)

11. How exciting is this? It's very exciting. Bass Pro expects about 20,000 visitors during their opening weekend, many coming from surrounding areas and states. This is the largest single retail location in the world, containing the tallest freestanding elevator in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people who would never have come to downtown Memphis may now visit us.

Just go with the flow this weekend if you're heading downtown; it's brand new and some unexpected things pop up. I know that folks in charge are doing all they can to make the traffic, events, parking, etc., go smoothly, and I think it's going to be a blast.

Let me know if you have more questions or comments!

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Hollly I booked a 2 night stay at the Big Cypress Lodge for my 43rd wedding anniversary May 8th and 9th. tottaly was looking forward to it until this morning I heard that the restaurants will not be open until another month and the aquariums will not be ready. I am so disappointed especially since the rooms are extremely high and if you book on the weekend a 2 night minimum is required plus they tack on $20 for valet parking and $20 for a resort fee. It dosen't benefit me to just sleep there, we will not be able to eat there or see the fish and who knows what else. I'm paying a resort fee but don't get the experience of a resort. This is not good, I want my money back. This will be the worst Anniversary ever.
April 29, 2015 8:43am
Holly Whitfield

Hi Linda! I'd be disappointed, too, if I thought that the resort wouldn't be ready in time for my stay. I'd strongly suggest that you call Big Cypress Lodge and discuss your concerns directly with them! 

I do not speak for Big Cypress Lodge or Bass Pro, I can only tell you what I saw: when I toured the building 2 days ago everything seemed to be on schedule, including the restaurants and aquariums, most of which were completed with fish swimming around happily! The grand opening is tonight. This morning, Memphis news crews visited the top floor restaurant and from their photos, it looks finished and ready to go. Check out any Memphis TV news station tonight for total coverage, or take a look at my photo album from 2 days ago:

Again - I would call the company directly to make sure your expectations are met!

April 29, 2015 9:36am
Brad Alsobrook
I live in a highrise just a little way from the Bass Pro Shop.. I have been watching the outside progress into how it looks now since day one.....  I love it...   I have one of the local news teams filming from my balcony tonight so I'll have to check the store out tomorrow...  I bet it's awesome...  Thanks for the pics
April 29, 2015 2:14pm
I think it is rediculous to charge just to ride the elevator. It would cost me $60 just to go up and look around and then pay who knows wht ungodly amount to eat dinner. GREED!
May 5, 2015 10:59am
Larry Cunningham
Who built the metal fish hanging in the bar at the top.
June 24, 2015 8:55am
Fred Gizzo
Hey there, I really loved this post. I am really keen on bushcraft and stuff. I love hiking, fishing etc… Many thanks for this great article.
November 30, 2017 2:57pm