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History

Inside Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid

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Johnny Morris, Bill Dance, and Jack Emmit holding catfish.

People often ask, "Why put a Bass Pro Shops inside of a pyramid?" Well, it all came down to one really big catfish. In 2005, Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cypress Lodge, 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 pyramid, Johnny looked up and told them that he would build a store inside the Memphis pyramid if they caught a 30-pound catfish.

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

Memphis Pyramid at night.

The addition of Big Cypress Lodge celebrates nearly 30 years of Bass Pro Shops being in the hospitality industry. Big Cedar Lodge, in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, was Bass Pro Shops’ first overnight property. What began as a fish camp for Bass Pro Shops employees quickly became America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Known for its genuine Ozarks hospitality, Big Cedar Lodge has been recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the World’s Best Resorts. Bass Pro Shops is excited to add Big Cypress Lodge to its family of hotel properties.