Following is a press release from EPE's parent company, CKX, Inc. on their ideas to preserve Elvis Presley's historic home, while adding to visitors' experiences and the Memphis economy.
NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2006 - Capitalizing on the ever-growing national and international fascination with Elvis Presley, CKX, Inc. (Nasdaq: CKXE) -- which controls Elvis Presley Enterprises and substantially all assets comprising the Presley estate -- has held meetings with prominent Memphis, Tennessee officials to explore ways to expand upon and further promote the legacy of the King of Rock and Roll.
With Graceland already one of the five most visited home museums in the nation and the most famous home in America after the White House, the discussions have focused on CKX's desire to grow the Graceland experience as the centerpiece of the Whitehaven section of Memphis. While plans and designs have not been finalized, CKX outlined significant aspects of the proposal to officials.
Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKX, commented, "As we are upon the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's explosion into our culture, it is only fitting that Graceland assumes an even more prominent role in American culture and tourism."
Working in conjunction with Bob Weis Design Island Associates, a world-renowned design firm, the goal is to enhance the visitor's experience in the area surrounding Graceland while preserving the integrity of the original mansion.
"For years, Elvis Presley Enterprises and the Presley family have envisioned a project like this," said Jack Soden, Chief Executive Officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises. "We are thrilled to be able to move this concept forward."
Sillerman added, "To date, Elvis's fans have only seen a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of Elvis artifacts currently warehoused. We're thrilled that beginning next month, with the Elvis '56 and Elvis After Dark exhibits and continuing through the proposed expansion, fans will have the opportunity to view more and more of this never-before-seen array of items."
The Elvis '56 exhibit is part of Graceland's year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the year Elvis Presley's career exploded and the music and popular culture of the world changed forever. The exhibit highlights his historic television appearances, his memorable concerts, his first mega-hit recordings, his first movie, the introduction of the big business of Elvis
merchandising, and the first home his success allowed him to purchase for his family.
The Elvis After Dark exhibit is themed around that fact that, for much of his life, Elvis Presley was a "night person." After the sun went down, he'd go on after-hours shopping sprees at department stores; rent out the Memphis Fairgrounds as his own personal amusement park; turn the Memphian movie theater into a private screening room for himself and his friends; host parties at home and at local clubs; or schedule late-night appointments with his jeweler. In short, he made Memphis his nighttime playground.