Stop whatever you're doing right now, Memphis, and watch this video from 1990 pitching "The Great American Pyramid," to potential investment partners. It's a bombastic, adjective-laden journey to the Memphis of imagination where a sprawling theme park on the Mississippi fabricated crumbling communities in rich detail, transforming the region's crushing poverty into an exciting ride for tourists! Yeah, that totally almost happened. And the language used to sell the boondoggle wasn't subtle:
"5000 years ago the world trembled before the might of Cheops Pyramid. Soon there will be another occasion for awe. Soon mankind will be dazzled by a new wonder of the world. From the banks of the Mississippi, across the oceans and continents, and up to the heavens, a vibrant message will ring out: Feel the power of The Great American Pyramid!"
Did you know The Great American Pyramid AKA "the Pyramid," AKA Bass Pro, was intended to be a "21st-century treasure trove of multiple attractions," connected to the Music Island theme park? There were going to be rides like "Hot Rod Lincoln," and novelties like the worlds greatest jukebox, and music events and sports. This "thrilling montage of entertainment" was also to include a "breathtaking attraction known as, The Rapper: An exciting ride along the river of music." Instead of a crystal skull, the very top of the Pyramid was to house a short wave radio station that, according to the pitch, would reach 500,000,000 short wave radios around the world. Planners projected more than 697,800,000 visitors annually
"Rarely has a sponsor had the opportunity to pioneer a venture of this magnitude from day one," a voice that sounds a lot like Casey Kasem says. "An opportunity to add a trademark to its company's assets with an international landmark that will be known by people around the globe as The Great American Pyramid."
Like I said up top. Just watch the whole thing. All things considered, Bass Pro may be the less embarrassing outcome.