Those Big-Bass Signs on the Pyramid

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I'm on record as being a fan of the Bass Pro Shop moving into the Pyramid in downtown Memphis. I think that it's a perfect fit for this market, that it will bring needed retail to downtown, and will re-energize the Pinch District, which has faded since the Pyramid was moth-balled a few years back.

It's a big, gaudy Vegas-style building, and Bass Pro plans to gaudy it up even more with its proposed 90' by 66' lighted logo signs on all four sides. The city council is belatedly grappling with the issue, trying to wring concessions from the company to reduce the size of the signs. Bass Pro says the deal is done and the signage was agreed to in its contract with the city.

I can see both sides of the argument. Bass Pro wants to maximize its visibility so that those driving across the I-40 bridge at highway speed have plenty of time to decide to take the exit on Front Street and check out that big ol' store. And I can see why the city fathers don't want the signage setting a precedent for ignoring the city sign regulations.

Can't we all get along? Why not a deal where we allow Bass Pro to put larger signs on the sides of the Pyramid facing the river and the bridge, and maybe reduce the signs to a more tolerable size on the sides facing the city and the North End residential neighborhoods?

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