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.
The Bright & Exciting Future Of Graceland Visitor ExperienceFebruary 24, 2006 | Other Source:EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises
corey3rd wrote on February 24, 2006
having spent a few days at Graceland, I was taken back at how dumpy the area around the estate is. Memphis really needs to improve the area on Elvis Presley Blvd. There's nothing of glamour in the area - when we rode the shuttle to the Heartbreak Hotel at night, I never had a sense that we were approaching the kind of neighborhood that would house a Graceland. I had been told that the reps from DisneyWorld were roaming the grounds and the area to figure out ways to expand the estate. There's also a rumor that the rollercoaster from Libertyland was going to be installed at Graceland.
Devon wrote on February 25, 2006
I have been going to Graceland every year starting in 1968, and yes i have seen many changes over the years. The area in and around the home of Elvis will always need upkeep. It is no differnt then any other home in the world, if you dont fix and repair things then they slowley go bad. There will always be improvements made in and around Graceland and it will always get better and better. I will be there in August as i always am and hope to see all of you. The King Lives
vinny wrote on February 25, 2006
Lets hope its sorted out for next year (the big 30th).i am already planning a very special trip and it would be nice to see something new.i love the whole memphis experiance and ELVIS week is truely magical.
drghanem1 wrote on February 25, 2006
Yeah that sound most interesting, I hope to see some cool stuff in Memphis August next year. Hardly there can´t be a better way to celebrate my 30th birthday! Maybe I´ll stay...