published Thursday, May 1st, 2014

New hotel being considered at Graceland

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new hotel proposed at Graceland would be among the biggest in Memphis if approved.

Media reported Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. presented plans for the proposed structure to the city on Wednesday.

City officials say development plans call for 450 rooms in the hotel, along with an upscale restaurant, sports bar and nearby movie theater at a cost of about $70 million.

It is tentatively to be called The Guesthouse at Graceland and would be built near Presley's mansion on land the company purchased in 1994. A statement from the company says if the project proceeds, there would be minimal impact on the surrounding community and a projected opening date of August 2015.

"When we started exploring plans for long term growth, a new hotel facility was a priority," Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, said in a statement. "We feel the time is right for growth at Graceland and we are excited about this proposed project, which would enable Graceland to enhance the visitor experience and deliver an even higher level of world class hospitality and customer service to the hundreds of thousands of guests who visit from around the world each year."

City leaders are expressing support for the project.

"I can't overstate its importance," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton told The Commercial Appeal. "Its timing could not be better."

"As Memphis City Council representative for the Whitehaven community, I fully support the proposal by Graceland management to build a new world class hotel facility, bringing jobs to our neighborhood and an economic boost to the city as a whole," said Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins. "My goal as Councilman will be to help ensure the proposed hotel becomes a reality as the renaissance continues along Elvis Presley Boulevard."

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