Horn Lake Mayor Mike Thomas said Tuesday that Georgia developer J.D. Stacy plans to resurrect his dream of building an Elvis-themed development on land once owned by the late singer and 317-acres adjacent to it.
“He’s been back and the Circle G Ranch is back in its original form,” Thomas said. “He was supposed to close on it (land deal) last Thursday but I understand that it did not close for whatever reason. Funding is supposed to be in place. I’m going to take the approach that it could happen, but I’m going to sit back and watch.”
The on-again, off-again land deal involving the singer’s former ranch dates back more than two years. Plans then called for construction of two 18-hole golf courses, luxury condominiums adjacent to the golf courses that would sell for between $429,000 and $600,000 each in addition to an Elvis-themed theater, guest houses and a museum.
The plan fell through in December 2002 after the development group failed to make payments on its option to purchase the land from the McLemore heirs. Elvis Presley Enterprises officials have repeatedly stated that they own the exclusive right to Presley’s image, name and likeness.
Stacy met with Elvis Presley Enterprises officials in 2002 but no details of the meeting have been released.
Meanwhile, owners of the 317-acre tract, said they remained hopeful that the land adjacent to the original ranch can be sold.
“The last I heard they were trying to get another appraisal,” said Bette Simpson, wife of Vernon Simpson, president of the Hugh Dancy Co. Simpson owns the entire 317-acre tract east of the Circle G property, owned by the heirs of the late W.F. McLemore. “I’ll get excited when it actually closes.”
Gerald McLemore, owner of the original Presley ranch where Elvis and Priscilla honeymooned in 1967 reportedly met with Stacy about two weeks ago. McLemore could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
In 2002, Stacy said he planned to capitalize on local legend that Elvis lost his wedding ring somewhere on the grounds and never found it. Presley used to ride horses and motorcycles on the ranch property until he sold the land in the mid-1970s.
The original honeymoon cottage and barn are among the only original structures still standing.