Graceland is now grander. Thursday, leaders opened the largest new development since the home of Elvis Presley opened to visitors in 1982. The expansion near the mansion now includes new restaurants, soundstages, and a museum showcasing the King of Rock and Roll.
Leaders said this grand opening is a game changer for Graceland, giving frequent out of town visitors a new excuse to return to Memphis while giving Memphians a reason to come for the first time.
“This is how we welcome the world to Graceland now. It’s an entirely new experience,” says Kevin Kern, Director of Public Relations for Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Across 200,000 square feet, Graceland grows and begins a new era of showcasing the life and legacy of Elvis Presley.
“We’re widening the net and giving something for everybody,” says Kern.
Thanks to a $45 million expansion, Graceland is now much more than the mansion. Across Elvis Presley Boulevard, a stretch of soundstages and stores now gives Graceland 15 separate attractions.
“Between then and today, it’s night and day,” says Kern.
At the center of the new complex is a 20,000-square foot museum, the most comprehensive and chronological shrine to Elvis Presley in the world.
“There’s a rich narrative that led to Elvis, the birth of rock and roll sound sweeping the country,” says Kern.
Kern believes this expanded Graceland will boost attendance, improve overall tourism, and bolster the amount guests spend locally.
“We want to increase the length of stay. That is the goal of this, increase the number of people coming to Graceland in Memphis,” says Kern.
The old strip malls at Graceland will be torn down and replaced by greenspace, in time for Elvis week in August, the 40th anniversary of his death.