Published: July 29, 2014
By Amy Hanford
Elvis Week will mark the beginning of an exciting new era at Graceland.
On August 14 Priscilla Presley will join fans for the official groundbreaking of a new hotel that will serve visitors who travel to Memphis to tour the famous home of ‘The King’ of rock 'n' roll.
The full service 450-room hotel, called "The Guest House at Graceland," will be constructed along Elvis Presley Boulevard on the same side of the street as the landmark mansion.
The hotel is expected to open in fall of 2015.
source: My Fox Memphis
Elvis Week 2014 will mark the beginning of an exciting new era at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis as the first additions to the tour experience in 20 years debut to the public, a first-ever auction of Graceland Authenticated artifacts is held, and ground is broken on a new world-class hotel. The Presley family, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), along with the new owners of the Graceland operation, have been exploring the best ways to make improvements in the Graceland attraction in order to ensure its growth and continued success for years to come.
Priscilla Presley will join fans for an August 14 groundbreaking at the site of a new hotel at Graceland that will serve visitors who travel to Memphis to tour the famous home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The full service 450-room hotel, called “The Guest House at Graceland,” will be constructed along Elvis Presley Boulevard on the same side of the street as the landmark mansion on land acquired by EPE in 1994. The new hotel will feature spacious rooms and a range of elegant and contemporary facilities, including two restaurants, meeting and special events space, and a 500-seat theater for live performances. Priscilla Presley will guide the look of the interior design of a number of the special suites, pulling inspiration from Elvis’ personal style and historic Graceland mansion. The hotel will be owned and operated by EPE and upon opening will be one of the largest full-service hotels in Memphis.
A special component of the new hotel will be The Founders, a new membership concept. Founders will be guests with VIP privileges, including special access to the Graceland mansion and grounds, exclusive invitations to events and receptions, and priority room and dining reservations. Details will be posted on Graceland.com very soon.
“When we assessed the needs of the Graceland operation and our guests, a new hotel facility was the number one priority,” said Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland LLC. “The time is right for growth at Graceland and with not only The Guest House at Graceland, but also new additions to the visitor experience that mark the beginning of a new era at Graceland for fans and our guests. We are committed to growing Elvis’ legacy by looking toward the future.”
“Our family, along with Graceland management, have wanted to expand and enhance the Graceland experience for several years,” stated Priscilla Presley. “We’re thrilled that so many of our long awaited projects, plus several more are finally coming to fruition.”
“We are excited about this hotel project, which will enable Graceland to enrich the visitor experience and deliver an even higher level of world class hospitality and customer service to the hundreds of thousands of guests who visit from around the world each year,” said Jack Soden, CEO. “Construction of a new hotel will truly enhance Elvis Presley’s Graceland, enrich the Memphis visitor experience, generate additional development and create more jobs within the community.”
Two new offerings for visitors to enjoy while touring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Memphis mansion starting August 9 are The Graceland Archives Experience in a new state-of-the-art Archive Studio on the grounds of Graceland for visitors who select the most popular ticket package, Graceland Platinum Tour or the VIP tour, and a new multimedia tablet tour utilizing iPads and iBeacon technology for all guests touring the mansion.
Graceland will be one of the first historic homes in the United States to offer an interactive iPad tour that provides a fully immersive experience for guests. Narrated by celebrated actor and Elvis fan John Stamos, visitors will take a multimedia tour of the iconic music landmark while exploring content hotspots which, when activated, allow users to dive deeper into the story of Elvis’ life through unique archival audio, video and photo elements. Other features in the easy to use interface allow guests to “favorite” selected content found on the tour to review and share at the conclusion of their Graceland experience.
Housed in the new Graceland Archives Studio, Graceland visitors will now get a rare peek inside the vault with the Graceland Archives Experience, allowing them to explore various aspects of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s life and career through daily presentations that highlight unique artifacts not seen on the traditional tour. Utilizing wardrobe, photographs, documents, film clips and other rare artifacts, guests will experience a special presentation from a Graceland host.
The launch of these two new tour offerings on August 9 coincide with the annual ElvisWeek festivities at Graceland August 8-17, as thousands of fans from around the world gather in Memphis to celebrate the life and legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The first-ever “Auction at Graceland” will be held on August 14 with collectors from around the world participating onsite and online for this unprecedented auction, featuring artifacts authenticated by the new Graceland Authenticated, LLC., a Graceland affiliated authentication and appraisal service for collectors and fans. Graceland Authenticated sets a new standard for pop culture authentication and appraisal to ensure pop culture artifact accuracy and provide evaluations of privately owned collections.
Among the items in the auction are rare and unique artifacts from the collection of Greg Page, founding member of The Wiggles® and one of the world’s biggest and well-known Elvis Presley collectors. Page’s items include Elvis’ 1977 Cadillac Seville, a Martin D-28 guitar and Elvis’ copy of the original script for his first film, “Love Me Tender.” All of the items in the auction will be offered from third-party collectors and none of the items included in the auction will come from the treasured Graceland Archives. The mansion and all artifacts in the Graceland archives continue to be owned by Lisa Marie Presley and are not for sale.
For more information about these exciting new developments or to plan a visit to Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, visit Graceland.com.