For those confused about the Graceland expansion-here it is
I have been reading some lame excuses and just flat out misunderstood comments or should I say complaints coming from EP fans regarding the soon to be Graceland expansion plans. So for those who are confused and don't understand exactly what is being planned and why it is important for these plans, I have broken it all down for you step by step to let you see what is and isn't being planned so that you will have a better understanding to it all.
1)There will NOT be any amusement park or rides at Graceland or part of the new expansion plans. This is a given. Priscilla mentioned this at the Insiders Meeting.
2)The plans call for a complete redevelopment plan that is both privately and publicly funded to enhance the visitation of the Graceland estate and bring in more tourism yearly which will generate more money into the struggling Memphis economy. In order to doing that, they MUST upgrade the facilities, revamp the area, and have city and state support or the project would suffer financially in the long run. (think an entire community remodeled). The total cost of this massive project is $250 as of now, but it could exceed that when the final plans are announced.
3)The plans call for a new state of the art visitor's center to replace the current run down squashed together outdated former strip mall called the Graceland Plaza. The current one will be torn down once the new one is complete.
4)The new visitor's center will be built on the same side of street as the mansion, to the left of the mansion making it more easier for access to the tours without using shuttle buses. This was Graceland's original plan but the land wasn't available back then.
5)The plans for the new visitor's center are to go more modernized to attract new fans and still cater to the older fans at the same time.
6)Among those plans are a hi-tech museum (for the computer cyber generation lovers) to display interactive exhibits and for the visitors to learn and discover EP and his legacy.
7)The facility will feature much better and bigger attractions than currently displayed at the Plaza using modern day technology.
8)I expect there to be some type of hi-tech theater of some sort (if FXS is wanting interactive attractions). Maybe not exactly an Imax, but something similar that would showcase the live performer that was E-L-V-I-S in a unique fashion.
9)Expect some type of EP themed restaurant as part of the plans, similar to the old Elvis Presley's Memphis spot on Beale Street.
10)The plans call for a new Hotel to replace the current Heartbreak Hotel. The new hotel will be 500 rooms and a conventional hotel that is capable of holding conventions and events. This will only up the tourism and business for EPE and CKX.
11)The new hotel will have a top tier company to buy the naming rights (such as Marriott or Ritz Carlton) that are a resort style hotel chains.
12)The plans call for the city and state to get involved financially to upgrade the businesses that are in that area and to buy up land to sell to high investors.
13)Expect breathtaking landscaping like that of Disney and Epcot in Orlando with beauitful array of flowers and flower beds and possibly water fountains. The mind can't even imagine what a beautiful attraction this is going to be. I will bet my house that it will not in any way degrade or disrespect EP or his memory and will only brighten the image and the man's legacy he left behind.
RUMORS: Right now these are just rumors and speculation as to what else is being planned.
*a pedestrian bridge to be built over Elvis Presley Boulevard. The city and state would fund this. Possibly costing anywhere from $2 million to $4 million. Depending how big and fancy it would be.
*a residential buyout. Bob Sillerman is rumored (by media and sources) to be putting together a financial plan to buy up residential homes and lots around the Graceland mansion and area to expand the property. Expect those owners to get more than what their land is worth. Rumors are that this could be a buy up of over 100-200 homes in the Graceland area.
*a petting zoo. Why a petting zoo some may ask? Well because of EP's strong love for animals. EPE has been in talks for awhile now with making a home for abandoned animals at Graceland and this would fit into the rumored plans for a small zoo to attract younger fans. EP had a chimpanzee named Scatter and he had peacocks running the grounds along with horses. Having a petting zoo as part of the plans makes sense and would attract more children (as Priscilla alluded to) and young adults. There should be some type of theme there with it. Maybe "Animal Instinct"?
*a theme park. This has been mentioned by the media mainly. But apparently it is not part of the plans. However it is possible that the "theme park" rumor could have some life to it. Recently Bob Sillerman and Simon Fuller went into partnership and bought out a company to go private for $1.3 billion and in that contract was an agreement that allows Bob Sillerman to use EP's name for marketing theme parks and amusement parks. But not at Graceland and it can't be degrading in any way. Now there are big plans and the ground breaking has already began for a new MGM Theme Park in Southaven, MS which is only 6.2 miles from Graceland. It's going to be a 200 acre park like the one in Orlando (Disney MGM). Could this be where the rumor takes life? Could there be plans for the first ever Elvis World Theme Park down the road from Graceland and near the new MGM Park as part of the new entertainment district? It all makes sense if it is. And this could be a great way in taking EP and preserving his name for generations to come. As long as it's not on the Graceland grounds, then I see nothing wrong with that at all and would only add to the tourism at Graceland.
Here is a drawings of what the MGM Park will look like.
So now I hope for all those who have been confused as to what is and isn't planned for the new expansion which are to take place soon and be completed in a 3 year span, I hope you are no longer confused. And finally from the mouth of Joe Esposito "this is exactly what the fans have wanted".(y)