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Elvis's California Home To Become A Graceland West

August 12, 2007 | Other
An Elvis Presley fan says he's intending to turn a California home once owned by the singer and his wife, Priscilla, into a kind of Graceland West.

"I want this to be Elvis of California," said Reno Fontana, who bought the Palm Springs stucco home in November 2006 with his wife, Laura.

The Spanish-style home has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a sunken tub and pool. The Presleys bought the home in 1970 and the family lived there part-time.

After the singer's death in 1977, Presley's lawyer took control of the estate, then sold it last year.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death and thousands of fans have converged at the real Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., for a week of festivities.

Elvis is buried at the Graceland mansion, which was turned into a museum in 1982. It attracts 600,000 visitors annually and is one of the top five most visited home museums in the U.S.

Fontana said anyone who knocks on the door on the Presleys' former residence in Palm Springs will be allowed in to take a look at the unfurnished home.

The lifelong Elvis fan plans to decorate it in Elvis style and build a chapel, banquet hall and recording studio to attract weddings and recording business.

"We may have our names on the deed, but we are the caretakers," he said. "This house belongs to Elvis fans around the world."

It's unclear whether the Fontanas can market the house as an Elvis tourist destination. The estate of Elvis Presley is tightly controlled by a company set up by Priscilla.
Mystery Rider wrote on August 12, 2007
Oh you gotta be kidding, next thing you know they will be selling Tex Ritter's Horse (White Flash) stable. when does this sillyness stop. Last week it was the working farm, last year it was Audobahn Drive, could Lauderdale courts be next. After all Lauderdale court is where Elvis started when he was on Sun and didnt move until he went with RCA Soooo that makes Lauderdale court the most valued just like the recordings.
Steve V wrote on August 13, 2007
Who cares about this house? Does anyone even know what it looks like. If you saw a picture of it, would you know it had something to do with Elvis? This has no appeal to me at all and even I bumped into it I wouldnt know it was Elvis', Sinatra's or whoever.
Mr Jones wrote on August 13, 2007
you're right Steve, I fully agree
Vegas Sun wrote on August 13, 2007
Actually it's a very important home in the Elvis story. It was his get away home in Palm Springs, one of the few assets he still owned at the time of his death. He spent a great deal of time there. He also recorded in the living room there. When Reno bought the home it was still furnished with a lot of the original stuff left behind after Elvis died. He has since emptied the home out from what it says here, and that's a shame. Personally Reno is a nice enough guy, but his only goal here is to make a buck off of Elvis. The home is not in a tourist area at all, and I'm sure the city will not take to him trying to turn it into anything but a home. For those that have never been it's actually just a few blocks from the honeymoon house. It's a great place if you ever get a chance to visit, but no, it's not like taking a look at Graceland as far as being recognizable, but it is an important home. It's funny, I see people getting upset here because a venue he played at a few times is torn down, but not much concern over one his favorite homes where a lot of things in his life played out. Open the day by day book. Every time it says "Elvis left for Palm Springs for two weeks" or anything else related to Palm Springs this was the house he was at, and it was quite often. It's odd to me that no one cares too much about this place.
Mystery Rider wrote on August 14, 2007
I say buy Lauderdale courts make it a shrine for all to come and worship on tuesdays during the months of January feburary and march. this whole thing is nuts. Graceland is the place and no other place has the drawing power its all there in Memphis Tennessee including Sun studios at 706 and the newer studio at 639 madison.
Vegas Sun wrote on August 14, 2007
This may be a news flash to you, but the Elvis Lauderdale Courts apartment has been open to the public for quite some time. Sun draws quite well, and it's not just an Elvis spot. It stands on it's own as a great spot in musical history for Elvis as well as many others. There is a lot more to Memphis than just Graceland. Graceland is great, but don't close yourself off, and sell yourself short. There is plenty of great history in Memphis other than just the grand old house on the hill.
snyper wrote on August 14, 2007
I think I'd go visit the home,provided they do it with class and redecorate it authentically. I believe this is the home Elvis recorded in with Voice. Maybe someone else knows. Screw what EPE thinks.
Jumpin Jehosaphat wrote on August 14, 2007
How is he going to get the grounds re-zoned. You dont just dump a Banquet Hall and recording studio in the middle of a residential neighborhood and espically palm springs. Sounds like what Ari the Spoon Bender wanted to do with house in Memphis in the middle of residential area. Next thing will be the house in Germany and the trailer in Texas or the Tank in the 3rd armor Division dosent the stupidy ever stop. Graceland is the place the only place thats it final.