We now know next to nothing happened, not pessimism.... realism.
As far as the 1991 proposed Japan theme park plan-that was not quite how it happened.... investors approached EPE with an idea for the theme park in Japan-EPE wanted to expand across the oceans...the investors were to be given "license" to use Elvis's name and image in the parks, EPE would get a fee for the license and a cut of the ticket prices, merchandising etc....financing was to be done by the investors to get the land in Japan (which is sky high because Japan is so small) and to build the park-the investors could not get the financing they wanted and the deal was lost.
This is an example of exactly why Lisa and EPE began looking for the "Global High Finance Expertise" of someone to help them in moving beyond the height they had achieved.
The pro CKX posters who were making the bold claims here from the 2005 date on obviously thought this was the case-as they touted the benefits soon coming to EPE because of CKX and for Memphis.
The fate of Memphis was a huge concern for these posters, and they tied it to the deal with CKX. I argued and still argue that Memphis should act to clean up its city-independent of any changes to Graceland-that is their responsilbilty to all citizens and business. Memphis should be protecting the golden goose that butters their bread citywide. During the recent flooding one official got it right -he said there was no danger to Graceland...but if their were the city would protect Graceland with everything they had-because of its financial importance to the city.
The citizens and government of Memphis seem to most times just wait...for CKX/Apollo/EPE to do the heavy lifting to raise the city above crime, blight, and years of inaction to rebuild the city. That is wrong on all levels.
Graceland has brought 100s of millions into the city coffers and into business's since it opened and back to when Elvis lived-people visited to see his house from behind the iron gates vacation money spent in hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and it will continue to be the golden goose in a time when many cities would give anything for even half the draw it brings.