New Plans for Graceland

The owners of Graceland are considering plans to redevelop the former home of Elvis Presley to rejuvenate the ever-popular Heartbreak Hotel and renovate more than 100 acres that surround the estate.

Robert Sillerman is the owner of the American Idol franchise and in 2004 his company, CKX Inc., purchased the controlling interest of Elvis Presley Enterprises. Sillerman is heading to Memphis in January to further explore the redevelopment plans which are currently in discussion.

Just a few years ago Sillerman had mentioned a $250 million redevelopment of the land and this week he added, “Our No. 1 priority is Memphis.” He has already indicated that his upcoming visit to Memphis will be a “two-day intensive planning session,” and offered, “Graceland is an extension of what we already know works.”

Heartbreak Hotel maintains the highest occupancy of any hotel in the entire state, according to Sillerman, despite the fact that it is not a luxury hotel by any means. The project that is in the planning stages now will be approached in phases once it begins.

“What needs to be developed first and how best we achieve maximization that pays homage to what is there, but also provide a whole new perspective on where we are going,” says Sillerman.

The planning session at Graceland next month will be private, however CKX and Elvis Presley Enterprises are banking on city, county, and state support for their plans on things such as improving Elvis Presley Boulevard. “The meeting with government officials, such as they are, will take place individually.”

The plans are moving a long relatively quickly, and Sillerman notes that within 90 to 120 days after the planning session, “we’ll have a very specific idea of what it is we’d like to do.”