September 03 - EPE Files Plans And Lawsuit

Elvis Presley Enterprises is seeking approval for a 45-acre 'entertainment complex' across the street from Graceland and the 450-room Elvis hotel already under construction. The $30 million to $35 million project is arriving on the scene earlier than some expected.

The development will include “a car museum showcasing cars owned by Elvis, two restaurants, a soundstage, a retail component, and a museum highlighting and named ‘Elvis the Entertainer’,’’ states a letter accompanying the application to the Office of Planning & Development. Other exhibition space is expected.

More than 38 years after Elvis's death and the birth of a fan Mecca, the old strip shopping center that Elvis Presley Enterprises converted into Graceland Plaza will be demolished. Replacing the strand of souvenir shops, museum, food courts and other businesses will be a far larger and more modern complex tailored to the fan experience.

The development will expand south into the rolling hills where Craft Manor Apartments once stood. That complex was one of a number of nearby properties Elvis Presley Enterprises has purchased over the years to expand from the mansion's 12 acres to about 120 acres.

Elvis Presley Enterprises already is building The Guest House at Graceland, a 450-room, $75 million resort hotel on the east side of Elvis Presley Boulevard and just north of Graceland. 

The most surprising part of the Graceland West application is that it happened so fast, said City Councilman and mayoral candidate Harold Collins.

“It was believed this new project wouldn’t occur for another year and a half or two,’’ said Collins, who represents Whitehaven. “The good news is they secured the financing to move the project forward sooner than expected... We're hopeful this part will be completed when the hotel is completed, which is next October (2016).''

The site plan shows a curvy drive coming off Elvis Presley Boulevard to a pedestrian plaza. A one-story commercial building stands in the middle of the plaza, which is also surrounded by three or four other one-story commercial buildings.

Landscaping in front includes willow oak, tulip poplar and maple trees, and the Elvis Presley and Craft frontages would be lined with an ornamental metal fence.

“This development will serve as a catalyst for redeveloping the Whitehaven neighborhood, particularly along Elvis Presley Boulevard,’’ states the letter of intent written Friday by attorney Hunter Humphreys of Glankler Brown.

EPE Case Against Graceland Randers
The estate of American icon Elvis Presley is seeking 1.5 million kroner or 225,000 dollar from the operator of Graceland Randers in Denmark. There can only be one Graceland, according to the heirs of American icon Elvis Presley.

The Memphis mansion that was once Presley’s home draws over 600,000 visitors a year who come to see the singer and actor’s memorabilia, including gold records, jumpsuits and his famed pink Cadillac. 

Danish Elvis fan Henrik Knudsen from fanclub 'Elvis Unlimlted' attempted to recreate the Graceland experience in the heart of Jutland. Knudsen owns and operates Graceland Randers, an ‘event house’ that includes the Elvis Museum, the Highway 51 Diner and an Elvis Shop. Since its opening in 2011, it has grown into one of Denmark’s top 50 tourist attractions.

But Knudsen’s devotion to The King has ruffled some feathers. The company Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), which represents the Presley family, has been after Knudsen to drop the Graceland name for years and now its case against him is set for a January showdown in Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten). EPE is seeking 1.5 million kroner (around $225,000) for violating the Graceland trademark. Knudsen registered the name with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, where there is a three-month objection period.

Claus Barrett Christiansen is a lawyer representing EPE in its case against Graceland Randers. “We have said from the beginning that Graceland Randers should find a new name […] We think that Graceland Randers has been very arrogant in this case by refusing all suggestions about a solution,” Christiansen told the tabloid BT, adding that part of EPE’s case against Knudsen also involves the sale of “false Elvis products”. 

Dean Jones Died

Actor Dean Jones, age 84, died. He played in over 100 movies and television productions and is well known from the Disney classic “Herbie”. He played with Elvis Presley in “Jailhouse Rock”.  

(Source: Commercial Appeal / ElvisMatters / Variety)