Groundbreaking for new Graceland hotel

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As Elvis Presley's wife Priscilla put it, Elvis's dreams are coming true. Thursday, Elvis Presley Enterprises broke ground on the new hotel coming to Graceland.

Developers say this project has been in the works for years, but the Memphis City Council only heard about it on May 1st. City officials say Elvis has everything to do with everything being worked out just in time for Elvis week.

Priscilla Presley told a huge crowd of his biggest fans, "We get to see his dream come true on this property."

Presley came to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Guest House at Graceland.

"Elvis had plans for Graceland," she said. "He had plans for the property, he wanted to do so much of it."

WREG first told you about this project being presented to the city council on May 1st. Just more than three moths later, there are shovels in the ground.

Councilman Harold Collins will tell you that's because they were not asking for any money from the city.

"These are tax dollars, these are opportunities for other investors to come in. We have to convince them that this is the right thing to do," Collins said. "It's hard to say no to the king of rock 'n roll."

Collins says this is the first step in helping the Whitehaven area make a new name for itself. Turning around an area that's recently taken a turn for the worse, but will always be know on as Elvis's hometown.

Kevin Kane is president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Center. He says Elvis is a huge money maker for the city.

"What people don't realize is the heartbreak Hotel is the highest occupied hotel in the state of Tennessee," he said. "Running close to 90 percent occupancy year round."

Kane says this Guest House project is bigger and better, and will bring in much more money and tourists to the area.

"This is a multimillion dollar week for us like it is every single year," he said. "Thank God for the King of rock 'n roll"

The new hotel will mean the Heartbreak Hotel will soon be a thing of the past. When this 450-room, $70 million dollar hotel opens up next August, the one across the street will close down.

The hotel will provide up to 100 jobs, increase property values and attract new business along Elvis Presley Boulevard according to those behind it.


  • Thomas H. Evans

    You are kidding me right; a 450 room hotel creating only 100 jobs, somebody didn’t do their home work (Harold Collins, Kevin Kane, Mayor Wharton, Robert Lipscomd, etc.). They must be planning on hiring the kids coming across our borders, because they will need a minimum of 250 employees if they are open seven days a week.

  • Dad Duff

    Does anybody remember al the media hype and politicians pontificating about a new owner of the old Holiday Inn at Mt. Moriah and 240 a couple of years ago? How it was so great for the city and East Memphis. How it would bring up the neighborhood and create jobs? How the new owners were going to invest in the property and make improvements? I think it’s the Governors Inn now. Have you been by and seen that dump lately- it looks like Brooks Road.

    Whenever these bureaucrats and their willing media allies tell you how great a new project is going to be remember they are all full of it.

    This hotel will be a fiasco and failure due to the area of town, the crime and the blight that won’t stop. You can keep pouring money into it but there’s a HUGE hole in the barrel. It won’t last and it won’t pay off- ever.

    I’ll come back in 2 or 3 years to point this out and remind you but the people in this town will never stop falling for the BS these people dole out.

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