At 12, Jenny Parry became a die-hard Elvis fan. Last year, at 49, she moved from her native England to Horn Lake with her love of Elvis still strong.
So strong, in fact, that Parry and her husband, Glen, are opening an Elvis-themed bed and breakfast called Gracepines that will add to the county's growing list of bed and breakfast facilities.
The Elvis bed and breakfast has four rooms, each decorated like a different Elvis movie. It will officially open Aug. 8 during the 30th anniversary Elvis week.
The ribbon-cutting, however, will be Thursday, and that's when the public will get its first glimpse of the latest bed and breakfast to open in DeSoto County.
Three have opened in the county in recent months, said Kim Terrell, executive director of DeSoto County Tourism.
"There have been five bed and breakfasts that opened in the last five years," she said. "But for three to open, that is a big surge in this industry."
Among the five most recently opened -- there are a total of eight bed and breakfasts in the county -- Gracepines joins Fountain South Inn Bed and Breakfast and Event Hall in Olive Branch, and Meadow View Farm Bed and Breakfast in Cockrum, near Hernando.
Gracepines, just off U.S. 51 in Horn Lake at 1008 Tuscany Way, is named after Graceland and the many pine trees on the property where the bed and breakfast sits.
The four spacious bedrooms are decorated like Jenny Parry's favorite Elvis movies : "Love Me Tender," "Jailhouse Rock," "GI Blues" and "Blue Hawaii."
Stills from each movie decorate the colorful walls in the rooms, including a huge life-size cut-out of Elvis hung on the black and white walls in the "Jailhouse Rock" room.
The "Love Me Tender Room," from the red tiles to the red bed spread and the heart-shaped head-board, is all about love and perfect for anniversaries or honeymoons, Jenny Parry said.
The couple did all the work themselves on the inn after buying the property that was once the old Sunnybrook Children's Home.
The inn was slated to open last year, but trouble finding reliable construction crews caused major setbacks, Jenny Parry said.
The Parrys have no experience operating a bed and breakfast, but after 25 years of working in the stressful world of child protective services and domestic violence for the government, Jenny Parry needed a career change.
Her husband, an elevator engineer, agreed to leave his job and follow his wife's dream.
"This is a really lovely area, so spacious and quite lovely," Jenny Parry said. "When I first came to visit Graceland seven years ago, I knew I wanted to come back to live in the area one day."
The Parrys also call the bed and breakfast home and have sectioned off their living quarters from the guests.
Guests are not allowed to use the family kitchen, but a small cafe where guests are served a free traditional English breakfast with sausages and blood pudding are offered along with a free continental breakfast and English tea.
There is a smoking lounge modeled after the Jungle Room at Graceland. And a bar where karaoke can be performed will be available when the inn opens.
Jenny Parry said they have discussed their business with Elvis Presley Enterprises when they decided to open the bed and breakfast.
She said the company, which owns the rights to all things Elvis in the United States, has been supportive of their business.
If there is no room at the inn, guests can pitch a tent and stay on the grounds of the 22-acre bed and breakfast.
"We want people to come and have a full holiday," Jenny Parry said. "We poured our savings and hearts into this bed and breakfast. It was my dream and I followed my dream and my love of Elvis."