The Memphis, Tennessee mansion home of Elvis Presley has closed its doors to the public amid the global pandemic. Since 1982, five years after The King’s death, Graceland has become a museum and the second most-visited house in the US after the White House with over 650,000 visitors a year. But now the spread of coronavirus has seen the National Historic Landmark temporarily shut down, as announced by Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley who lived there with him.
Priscilla wrote on his official Facebook page: “Dear friends, in line with Federal and CDC guidelines, and with the absolute best interest of our Guests and Staff in mind, it is with a heavy heart we advise you that Graceland will be temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will vigilantly monitor the situation and remain in regular contact with the appropriate officials and health experts.
“Based upon that information, we will continue to adjust our operations as appropriate.
“Our goal is to reopen Graceland just as soon as it is advisable to do so.”
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The 74-year-old added: “Hopefully, this monster of a virus will come to an end sooner than later.”
Meanwhile, Graceland’s website has issued an official statement with similar wording but also clarified that Elvis’ home plans to reopen on April 4.
It read: “In line with Federal and CDC guidance and with the absolute best interest of our Guests and Staff in mind, Graceland will be temporarily closed beginning March 21 through April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will vigilantly monitor the situation and remain in regular contact with the appropriate officials and health experts.”
The statement continued: “Please continue to check this page and our social media for updates.”
“Graceland tour tickets for March 21 to April 3, 2020, will be automatically extended to use any date within one year of the original tour date.
“Once you are prepared to reschedule your Graceland experience, all you have to do is email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 901-332-3322 or 1-800-238-2000 with your new date and order number.
“The full value of your original tour ticket will be applied towards your rescheduled tour ticket of equal or greater value.”
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The website also clarified that Elvis fans can still purchase Graceland tickets for April 4 and beyond.
They added: “We will continue to make adjustments to our operations as appropriate and look forward to welcoming Guests back to Graceland as soon as it is advisable. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Of course, planning to reopen on April 4 seems somewhat optimistic given the scale of the coronavirus pandemic and its growth across the US.
So fans should not be surprised if Graceland’s closure is extended or announced to be indefinite, as is the case with many similar locations across the world right now.
Elvis purchased Graceland in March 1957 as his music career expanded.
The King asked his parents to choose a farmhouse like property the family could live at together, giving Vernon and Gladys a budget of $100,000.
Priscilla also lived at Graceland for five years before she married Elvis in 1967 and until they divorced in 1972.
Elvis died in his upstairs bathroom there in August 1977 at the age of just 42 and is buried with his parents in the Meditation Garden, which fans can visit at the end of their Graceland tour.
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