Driving along highway 40 heading to Washington DC, we could not help but see this massive pyramid that stands out among the other nearby buildings. Upon a little more looking we noticed that there was an observation deck near the top. This made it a must stop on our return trip.
Whether or not you shop at Bass Pro Shops this is an impressive building. It is billed as one of the largest retail stores in the world.
While the outside is impressive, it gets better once you enter. The décor is a gorgeous outdoor motif. And not only is it a retail store with an observation tower, it houses a hotel (Big Cypress Lodge) with rustic themed rooms.
The interior takes full advantage of the building height. The décor rises high above you as you walk around.
The facility is filled with water features. This is a huge fish tank of course. There is a lake filled with boats and fish that weaves its way through the landscape of the building.
As fascinating as the décor was, I was there to go to the observation deck to see the view. The elevator takes center stage in the building as a giant purple tower rising to the ceiling. My wife voted herself out leaving me to make the journey alone. She doesn’t like heights. Of course neither do I, but I brave through my fears to get the pictures and story of the experience. This is the tallest freestanding elevator in America. Not that this is much comfort while riding to the top. The ticket price was $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
On the ride up you get a verbal history of the building and how it came to be a Bass Pro Shop. I won’t give away the story line but the part that caught my attention was that this was an arena for the city of Memphis originally. If my sports history serves me right, I believe it was the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team that once played inside this pyramid built in 1991. They moved out in 2004 once a new building was ready for them. Bass Pro Shops moved into the pyramid in 2010. After 5 years of construction it opened to the public on April 29, 2015.
One of the more notable features at the top is the Lookout restaurant. This is an upscale restaurant and bar with a magnificent view.
There are 4 observation decks off of the restaurant area.
If the elevator ride gets your fears going, it only gets worse while out on the deck. It is a glass deck with viewing slits that let you view all the way to the bottom. After this picture I avoided looking down again.
Now this is more like it. A beautiful view of the Hernando de Soto Bridge spanning across the Mississippi River into Arkansas. There are more views in the gallery. As you appreciate them please remember that I risked my life (had I fallen… ha ha) to bring these pictures to you.
Once you are done (or before if you prefer) you will pass by the B.B. King / Elvis Presley Welcome Center of Tennessee. We ran short of time so we just took outside pictures, but it will be on our list to visit next time through.
This is a fascinating building and area to visit when passing through. Plan to spend a few hours exploring. There is likely something here for everyone. It could be the Bass Pro Shops, having a meal, staying the night, or just taking in the view. We walked out with some snacks for the rest of our trip.
For some more information about this place check out the following: