- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Eric Cantor says he’ll resign on Aug. 18
- Ted Nugent slams ‘lying freaks’ at liberal media: I’m ‘doing God’s work’
- Joe Biden’s secret love: Skinny-dipping, Secret Service agents say
- Just-forged Israel-Hamas cease-fire ends in rocket fire
- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
Graceland marks 30th year as tourist attraction
Question of the Day
The idea of opening Graceland to the public came to Priscilla Presley after Elvis‘ father Vernon died in 1979 and she was thrust into the role of managing the estate. “I realized as it was going on that there really wasn’t any money that could support Graceland or any of the people that worked for Elvis that were still there,” she said. “I had a decision to make to somehow save Graceland.”
She initially reached out to Morgan Maxfield, a Kansas City-based financier, but after he died in a plane crash, his business partner, Soden, stepped in. “The one really clear, passionate voice for `Don’t let go of Graceland, don’t let go of the artifacts,’ was Priscilla,” Soden said.
They met, planned and visited other homes-turned-museums, like Thomas Jefferson’s house at Monticello and Thomas Edison’s home. By 1982, they were ready to open, with Priscilla Presley’s idea of keeping everything in the home the same as it was when Elvis was alive still intact.
To augment the $500,000 investment, they pre-sold tickets, generating enough money to buy uniforms for the tour guides. The first month was such a success that they made back the half-million dollars in about 38 days, Soden said. The visitors center was built later with exhibits including his favorite cars and the Lisa Marie, his private plane, plus a cafe and gift shops selling Elvis memorabilia, from T-shirts to bobble-head dolls. Future plans include $50 million in improvements to Elvis Presley Boulevard and other infrastructure near Graceland.
“I’m blown away by the mere fact that it’s 30 years,” Priscilla Presley said. “It’s been incredible to see that the legacy of Elvis is still going strong. We wouldn’t have imagined that when it was opened in 1982. Elvis is as popular now as he was then, if not even more.”
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- PRUDEN: Cooling the manufactured impeachment panic
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- Congress leaves Obama holding the burden of border children
- Just-forged Israel-Hamas 3-day cease-fire ends in rocket fire
- Islamic militants seize Benghazi as U.S. evacuates Libya
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world