User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
TV Banner
News : Graceland May Remove Elvis Presley's Old Airplanes
Posted by Randy on 2014/7/2 4:25:47 (213 reads) News by the same author

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- For 30 years, tourists from around the world have paid money to get a look at two airplanes once owned by Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Fans enjoy touring the planes for their direct connection to Presley and his jet-setting lifestyle, a sort of touchstone to the life of the King of Rock and Roll and his family.

By April of next year, the planes named Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II could be gone.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which operates the Graceland tourist attraction, has written to the planes' owners saying they should prepare to remove the jets from Graceland by next spring.

The planes have been a tourist attraction since the mid-1980s. They had been sold after Presley's death, and were eventually purchased by OKC Partnership in Memphis.

OKC Partnership and Graceland agreed to bring the two jets to Graceland. The agreement called for OKC Partnership to receive a cut of ticket sales in return for keeping the planes there.

In an April 7 letter to OKC Partnership's K.G. Coker, Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden says the company is exercising its option to end the agreement and asks Coker "to make arrangements for the removal of the airplanes and the restoration of the site on or shortly after April 26, 2015."

Their removal could cause an uproar among fans, especially those who visit Graceland every year as part of an annual pilgrimage to events such as Elvis Week and the candlelight vigil commemorating Presley's death.

Dedicated Elvis fan Paul Fivelson of Algonquin, Illinois, says he expects many fans will be upset to hear the planes may be leaving.

"The people who come to Memphis for Elvis Week like seeing those planes there because it's just part of the whole aura of what Elvis was about," Fivelson said Tuesday. "It would be kind of blasphemous to take them away, and I think there are probably a lot of fans who will feel the same way."

The disclosure also raises questions about the future use of the site where the airplanes now sit, across the street from Presley's longtime home.

Elvis Presley Enterprises declined immediate comment.

In November, New York-based Authentic Brands Group bought Elvis Presley Enterprises and the licensing and merchandising rights for Presley's music and image from CORE Media Group. As part of the deal, Joel Weinshanker, founder of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, acquired the operating rights to Graceland, which attracts about 500,000 visitors each year.

After the sale, Authentic Brands said upgrades to the tourist attraction were planned. Earlier this year, Elvis Presley Enterprises announced plans to build a 450-room hotel, theater and restaurant, with a projected opening date of August 2015. Their plan was approved Tuesday by the Memphis City Council.

Today, Graceland visitors can buy a ticket that includes a tour of Presley's home-turned-museum and the two airplanes. Fans climb into the airplanes for an up-close look at their interiors.

The larger plane, a Convair 880 named after Presley's daughter Lisa Marie, is like a customized flying limousine, complete with a large bed, a stereo system, conference room and gold-plated bathroom fixtures. It was renovated after Presley bought it from Delta Air Lines. Presley took his first flight on it in November 1975.

When Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, Presley's pilot flew the Lisa Marie to California to pick up Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, to bring her back to Memphis.

The smaller jet, a JetStar named the Hound Dog II, was also used by Presley.

At one point, after the planes were sold following the singer's death, the Lisa Marie was owned by Raymond Zimmerman, owner of the Service Merchandise chain, according to Coker. The Hound Dog II was in the hands of Hustler head Larry Flynt for a time, Coker said.

OKC Partnership eventually bought the planes and the Lisa Marie was installed at Graceland in 1984. The Hound Dog II came later.

Coker, 76, says OKC may sell the planes if they're removed from Graceland, but he still hopes to negotiate a deal that would keep the planes there. Coker acknowledges that he and his partners would lose money from ticket sales if the planes were removed.

"I would love to see the airplanes stay where they are forever," Coker said. "Millions of fans have toured those airplanes and there's a real connection between fans and those airplanes. Those airplanes are part of the Elvis experience."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/8/27 6:20:00 - Authorities Searching Daviess County For Alleged Car Thief
2014/8/27 4:36:29 - Missouri Inmate Dies After Being Beaten
2014/8/27 4:20:00 - Explosion Levels Three-Bedroom Home In Independence
2014/8/27 4:12:09 - Mother Of Newborn Baby Found In Trash Arrested
2014/8/27 4:09:06 - Police: Girl, 9, Handled Uzi In Fatal Shooting Of Instructor
2014/8/27 4:03:09 - NCMC Board Of Trustees Meeting Report
2014/8/26 20:30:00 - KC Chiefs Release 14 Players, Slicing Roster To 75
2014/8/26 20:20:00 - Lawson Cardinals Sweep Tuesday Night Volleyball At Trenton
2014/8/26 19:20:00 - Six-Run Blitz Sends Trenton To Victory At Gallatin
2014/8/26 14:30:00 - Gilman City Coaches Shows For Tuesday, 8/26/14
2014/8/26 14:20:00 - Marceline Clips Trenton In Season Opening Golf Duel
2014/8/26 14:18:58 - Trenton JV Football Rolls Past Carrollton, 30-8
2014/8/26 14:10:00 - Putnam County Softball Loses Slugfest To Clark County, 11-6
2014/8/26 13:59:29 - Cameron Wins Volleyball Opener At Trenton
2014/8/26 11:40:00 - Missouri Media Announces Latest High School Football Poll
2014/8/26 10:34:12 - Trenton City Council Meeting Results
2014/8/26 10:20:00 - NCMC Lady Pirates Announce 2014-2015 Hoops Schedule
2014/8/26 10:10:00 - Doris Rider Art Gallery To Feature Area Artists
2014/8/26 10:00:00 - Separate Accidents Saturday Night Injure Four
2014/8/26 10:00:00 - Tri-County Coaches Shows For Thursday, 8/26/14
2014/8/26 9:58:24 - Fire At Chillicothe Deemed Accidental
2014/8/26 9:55:18 - Two Injured, Including 1-Year Old, In Saturday Accident
2014/8/26 9:51:46 - University Extension To Offer Classes For Those Fifty And Over
2014/8/26 9:47:58 - Linn R-1 High School Graduate Receives GRM Network Scholarship
2014/8/26 9:45:28 - Two Injured In Monday Morning Accident
2014/8/26 9:41:02 - North Central Missouri Mental Health Center To Hold Parenting Classes
2014/8/26 9:38:28 - One Arrested After Gunshot Fired In Gallatin Residence
2014/8/26 9:34:22 - Quilt To Be Raffled For Sunnyview Foundation Project
2014/8/26 9:29:07 - Walking Trail Dedication Set For September 26
2014/8/26 9:23:22 - Kaleidoscope Run To Be Held During Homecoming Week



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM