If a local man has his way, fans soon will be able to see where Elvis kicked off his blue suede shoes. The King's Palm Springs home is being revamped to become a tourist attraction. The Elvis Estate -- one of only two homes the King owned when he died in 1977 -- is free from legal battles and wants to be known to rock fans as the next Graceland.
"I want this to be Elvis of California," said Reno Fontana, who won ownership of the home in November with his wife, Laura Whittier Fontana. That could be good news for Palm Springs tourism. "I get asked probably six times a day to see the inside of the Elvis house," said Bill Davis, the owner of Celebrity Tours in Palm Springs.
"In fact, last week I had a woman from Poland, and all she could say was 'inside Elvis house,' " he said. "People want to see what's inside." More than 600,000 people a year visit the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn. -- making it one of the five most-visited home tours in the United States and the most famous home in the country after the White House, according to Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley bought the home at 845 W. Chino Canyon Road in Palm Springs for $85,000 in April 1970. The Presleys and their young daughter, Lisa Marie, lived there part time. When the two divorced in 1972, Priscilla Presley signed over the home to Elvis with a quitclaim deed. After Elvis died, his personal lawyer, who represented him during his divorce, took control of the estate.
Visitors won't find a jungle room, Elvis' animal-themed playroom in Graceland. The five-bedroom house with a pool and stunning eastern views surprisingly is understated. The most outrageous part -- if one can even call it that -- is a sunken tub with red-and-black tiles in one of the seven bathrooms.
Today, if someone knocks on the door, Fontana will show them around for free.
Source: Google / Updated: Sep 9, 2007