Bill Dance helps Memphis welcome Bass Pro Shops

WREG Memphis - Bill Dance was a featured speaker at today's ground-breaking for the new Bass Pro Shops in Memphis. Bill and BPS founder Johnny Morris told an interesting story about how the decision was made to select the iconic Memphis Pyramid as a location for the new store.

(Memphis) It may not become the biggest Bass Pro Shop in the world, but they say it will be the tallest and the grandest.

“We think this is going to be one of the most amazing retail stores that could ever be,” said Johnny Morris, the Founder of Bass Pro Shops.

The shop is going to be larger than four football fields, with zip lines, an island and a 3-story hotel circling the store front.

Morris says he got the idea from a fisherman, “Well, we have a special friend here in Memphis, Bill Dance.”

Morris says he had been bouncing around the idea to build a Bass Pro Shop at The Pyramid seven years ago and decided to let Fisherman and TV Star Bill Dance decide,
“Johnny and I fished the Mississippi for two days and Johnny said ‘look, let’s fish and if we catch a 30 pound catfish that will be the deciding factor. Well, as luck had it we caught a 30 pounder.”

And that big catch seems to have made a lot of people in Memphis happy.

“That fish. I just thank God for that catfish,” said City Councilman Joe Brown.

Brown believes the shop will have a tremendous economic impact on Memphis bringing tourists here from all over the country.

And Dance says the store is going to be “mind-boggling”.

“You will see things you`ve never seen before in a sporting goods store,” said Dance. “You might see gigantic Cyprus trees here 70 feet tall. You may see a river running through here with alligators in it.”

And to think, it all started with a fisherman and friend on the Mississippi River.

This party was to kick off construction, but we’ve been told that construction won’t really begin until September.

The total project is scheduled to be complete by fall 2013.

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