Following is a press release from the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau:
All Shook Up in Whitehaven
Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Breaks Ground on a New Visitor Center in Whitehaven
The gates to Graceland will no longer be the only musical welcome for visitors heading to Whitehaven on I-55. The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau is breaking ground on a new gateway project and full service visitor center at the corner of Elvis Presley and Brooks Road on August 12. In addition to providing information to Graceland visitors and Memphis tourists, the 3,286 square-foot building will also pay homage to many Memphis music icons.
“The Whitehaven Visitor Center will be located on a street that is home to the second most visited house in the country, Graceland,” Councilwoman TaJuan Stout Mitchell says. “In addition to providing information to visitors, the center will also address a gateway beautification project, and I am committed to insuring that all Memphis gateways are attractive entrances to our communities. This project is quite an achievement for our community and our city."
According to Councilwoman Mitchell, while she was campaigning in 1999, a citizen suggested using the site at Elvis Presley and Brooks Road as a visitor information center. Today, that wish has become a reality through the efforts of Kevin Kane, the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Memphis.
“The Memphis CVB’s long-term objective has always been to expand our visitor service opportunities. This location is ideal because of its strategic positioning to the Graceland area and its visitors. We hope to extend the visitors length of stay in the Memphis area by showcasing our unique amenities to an audience that has not always been accessible,” says Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Archimania and Self Tucker Architects, Inc. designed the building as a symbol of the musical spirit of Memphis. The billboard-type roof will be laced with images of artists who have recorded albums in Memphis. Retail items and Memphis collectibles will also be available in the building. Construction will be completed by summer 2004.
“Many millions of visitors have crossed this threshold to Whitehaven and Graceland. Now the millions yet to come will be greeted and welcomed to our community in grand Memphis style! Our heartfelt thanks to the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau!” says Jack Soden, CEO, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
Date: August 12, 2003
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Southwest corner of Elvis Presley and Brooks Road, 3205 Elvis Presley Blvd.