Graceland Celebrates 37 Years as One of the World’s Most Iconic Tour Destinations
Now There’s Always Something Happening at Graceland with The Guest House at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Memphis Exhibit and Entertainment Complex, the Brand-New Graceland Exhibition Center, Concerts and Themed Weekends
Elvis Presley’s Graceland® opened for public tours on June 7, 1982, and since that day over 20 million people have visited the mansion, known as the second most recognized home in the United States (after the White House). In the past 37 years the Graceland campus has expanded considerably, offering a wealth of new and different experiences and entertainment for visitors, who will find there truly is always something happening at Graceland.
In 2016, the 450-room AAA Four Diamond resort hotel The Guest House at Graceland was opened to the public. The Guest House reflects Elvis’ style and the charm of Graceland. From the Southern colonial features to specialty suites with Priscilla Presley’s design supervision, every facet of The Guest House has a touch of grace and a dash of rock ‘n’ roll.
In 2017 Elvis Presley’s Memphis opened across the street from the mansion. The 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment and exhibit complex houses more than 11 stand-alone Elvis museum exhibits: Presley Motors Automobile Museum, Presley Cycles, Private Presley: Elvis in the Army, Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie: Growing Up Presley, Mystery Train: The Sam Phillips exhibit, Hollywood Backlot, Elvis’ Tupelo, Hillbilly Rock: The Marty Stuart Collection, The Archives Experience and its crown jewel, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum – making it the largest collection of Elvis memorabilia in the world. New exhibits are regularly added so return visitors always have something new to see.
Last August, Graceland opened a beautiful, new Chapel for weddings and vow renewals. Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods is located between the mansion and The Guest House, and is the star of the new Hallmark Channel original movie, “Wedding at Graceland,” the sequel to last year’s top rated “Christmas at Graceland.”
And, just weeks ago, Graceland opened the doors to its most recent expansion, The Graceland Exhibition Center. Located next to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, the 80,000 square foot Exhibition Center will host an ever-changing line-up of national and international pop culture and educational touring exhibits starting with Muhammad Ali: Greatest of All Time showcasing the story of Muhammad Ali’s incredible rise from humble beginnings to become the three-time heavyweight champion of the world. A Century of the American Motorcycle explores the history of the American motorcycle through a one-of-a-kind collection of classic bikes curated by the legendary Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. The National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers, is an interactive experience in partnership with National Geographic. The exhibition allows visitors to take a journey into the wildest, darkest and remote places in the world. Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience will make its debut in October. The Graceland Exhibition Center also features multiple dining options and the Jungle Room Bar, which will be open before and after concerts on the Soundstage at Graceland.
While the Graceland campus has expanded, so have the entertainment offerings with special events, themed weekends and live music happening all year round. In addition to perennial favorites such as Elvis Week every August, the traditional lighting of the mansion grounds in November, the Holiday Concert Weekend in December, Elvis Birthday Celebration in January and the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Weekend in March, Graceland has begun hosting an even wider variety of events to attract new visitors.
“We produce events that attract all kinds of guests to Graceland. For Elvis fans, it’s a magical place to visit to be closely connected to the greatest entertainer of our time. Graceland will always be sacred to them for that reason. For people who may attend one of our events that is not necessarily Elvis related, it’s an opportunity to introduce someone new to the incredible legacy of The King. And, without fail, they leave Graceland as new Elvis fans,” said Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings, LLC.
New events this year include the General Hospital Fan Celebration celebrating the longest-running American soap opera during a three-day weekend packed full of “General Hospital” stars, parties, panels, shows, dinners, autographs and photo ops. Military Appreciation Weekend showcased Elvis’ patriotism through a variety of family-friendly events and a concert featuring Bret Michaels. Hallmark Channel’s June Weddings Fan Celebration Weekend featured Hallmark stars and two days of one-of-a-kind events and interactive activities.
The Fabulous 50s weekend features Chubby Checker live in concert, a “A Salute to The King” by acclaimed Elvis Tribute Artist Victor Trevino Jr., a Sock Hop party, dinner at the Hot Rod Diner (Presley Motors), trivia contests, and a 50’s movie marathon.
Graceland’s All-American July 4th Getaway features Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo in concert, fireworks, BBQ, the rockabilly Brandon Cunning Band, a gospel brunch, Kyle Busch’s #18 M&Ms NASCAR Show Car and the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an official NASCAR SimPod.
The two four-day Performing Arts Camps feature a theater arts experience for kids and teens (ages 6 -17). Campers follow in the footsteps of Elvis and learn about singing, acting and dancing from professionals (including special guest counselor Reagan Strange for NBC’s “The Voice”), while parents explore Memphis, relax by the pool at The Guest House and enjoy Graceland Archives presentations and tours.
Graceland also partnered with Live Nation earlier this year to bring music’s hottest acts to its newly expanded campus. Graceland Live features two venues: The Soundstage at Graceland (located within Elvis Presley’s Memphis) can accommodate up to 2,000 guests and boasts two giant screens offering great visibility throughout the venue. The Guest House Theater is an intimate 464 seat auditorium with stadium-style seating. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video capabilities worthy of The King himself, and fan amenities that no other venue in Memphis can offer. Guests attending shows at the Soundstage at Graceland are offered free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis Complex after 3:00 p.m. the day of the show to explore and enjoy the exhibits. There are multiple dining options to choose from on-site, as well as The Jungle Room Bar. Guests headed to a show in The Guest House Theater also have two full-service restaurants and a large lobby Lounge bar with nightly entertainment to enhance their experience.
Graceland Live concerts cover a wide variety of music genres including Melissa Etheridge, Boz Scaggs, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Why Don’t We, Kirk Franklin, Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot, Violent Femmes and X, George Thorogood and more.
“Fans and artists alike have asked us for years to bring more live music to Graceland. Now, with two phenomenal venues and an exclusive partnership with Live Nation, we are ensuring premium experiences for our audiences,” said Weinshanker. “Elvis always cited such a broad range of musical influences that shaped his music. It is only fitting that we bring an incredibly wide array of musical styles and genres back to his home.”
For additional information visit www.graceland.com.