Elvis Presley’s Graceland launches $100 VIP virtual tours of the music icon’s Memphis mansion | Daily Mail Online

Elvis Presley’s Graceland is offering the chance to go ‘behind the ropes’ at his Memphis mansion after launching ‘VIP’ virtual tours for the first time as tourists stay away amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

The hit US attraction, which was bought by the musical icon in 1957, usually attracts between 500,000 to 700,0000 tourists a year but was hit by a massive drop in visitors as a result of the pandemic. 

Now, for $100, fans who can’t travel to Tennessee can sign up for the two-hour guided tour of the singer’s former home and of the Meditation Garden, where he is buried. Organizers say they’ll also tell not-before-heard stories.  

Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home in Tennessee is offering virtual, live tours for the first time. For $100 fans can sign up for personal walk-throughs of his home, as well as his private jet, The Lisa Marie (pictured)

Attendees can get up close to his personal belongings, like his famous, pink Series 60 Cadillac, usually behind ropes at the famous attraction

The expert will guide you through some of the musical icon’s best-loved fashion moments 

Cameras will take you ‘behind the ropes’ at the US attraction to get a close up look at his possessions, like his gold records

An expert will be on hand to answer questions as well as tell stories not usually included during in-person tours 

During the live tours, an expert will walk attendees into Elvis’ private jet – The Lisa Marie – and give close-up views of artifacts like his famous, jeweled jumpsuits and pink Cadillac. Fans also will be given a chance to ask questions of the expert.

The VIP walk-throughs are set to take place on January 27, February 25 and March 25, with more dates expected, marking the year that the King of Rock N Roll would have turned 86.   

This is not Graceland’s first foray into online entertainment, since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Last year, fans were invited to participate in Elvis Week events in a closed Facebook group that required a paid ticket to enter.

Other virtual events included ‘attending’ past Elvis Week concerts streamed online, panels with experts, new interviews with bandmates and friends, and a look at previous candlelight vigils.   

‘As the COVID pandemic continues to evolve and health officials learn more about high-risk activities, we must evolve with them,’ a spokesman for Graceland said previously.

‘There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our guests and employees.’

 It reopened to the public in May after lockdown, with reduced capacity.

Elvis, pictured at Graceland in the late 1950s, bought the property for $102,500 when he was 22 years old in 1957

Graceland, which reopened in May with reduced capacity to accommodate the coronavirus pandemic, is the second-most visited US attraction, after the White House. Pictured are fans lining up in 2017

Elvis bought the property for $102,500 when he was 22 years old.  

The singer and actor lived in the home until his death on August 16, 1977 aged 42.

It has been operated as a museum since 1982. Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie is the current owner of the attraction.

Since his death, devotees of the late singer and actor have flocked to Graceland, his former home-turned-museum, to honor Presley on the anniversary of his death. 

Last year, as a result of the pandemic, fans were asked to make reservations ahead of time and to stand six-feet apart as well as follow other virus-related safety guidelines. 

Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Elvis bought Graceland in 1957, when he was 22-years-old. It became an ‘oasis’ for him

Built in 1939, Graceland was bought by Elvis Presley in 1957 for $102,500. The 17,552sqft Colonial Revival-style home in Memphis, Tennessee, sits on a 13.8acre estate and became his private retreat from stardom.    

The king of rock ‘n’ roll died at the home on August 16, 1977, aged just 42 but by the early 1980s, Graceland had become a burden on his estate, which faced high estate and inheritance taxes.

It has been operated as a museum since 1982. Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie is the current owner of the attraction.  

Although no one knew if it would be a commercial success in the beginning, it has helped transform the city into a top destination for music lovers, clocking up over 20 million visitors in three decades. 

They sold out all 3,024 tickets on the first day and Graceland’s success led to a worldwide merchandising and licensing business that keeps Elvis’ legend strong while generating $32 million (£20.6 million) a year in revenue, based on figures from 2012. 

It is the second most visited home in the US after the White House, averaging about 500,000 to 700,000 domestic and international visitors annually.   

The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, becoming the first site related to rock and roll to be entered.  

Elvis’ former wife Priscilla says it’s the spirit of the singer, and not just music history, that keeps the crowds coming to Graceland.

‘Every time I go in there, I feel like Elvis is going to come down the stairs any minute,’ she said in a recent interview about the landmark’s anniversary.

‘I have no doubt that he’s there, somewhere, his spirit. I think people feel that.’

Presley fans flock every year to the Graceland tourist attraction for Elvis Week, a celebration of his life and career as a singer and actor marking the August 1977 anniversary of his death. Pictured, a special street art tribute in August 2019

During the annual vigil, fans walk by Presley’s grave at Graceland holding candles. This year, due to the pandemic, fans were asked to book a spot to allow for social distancing

In July, fans mourned the suicide of Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s grandson Benjamin Storm Keough at 27.

Keough was the son of Lisa Marie Presley and her ex-husband, singer-songwriter Danny Keough, and was known for his resemblance to the singer. 

Lisa Marie, the sole child of Elvis and his wife Priscilla, grew up at Graceland in Memphis and was only nine years old when her father died in 1977.  

In October, nearly three months after his tragic passing, Benjamin Keough was laid to rest next to his grandfather in Graceland. 

Lisa Marie has previously spoken of her son’s, left, similarity to her dad Elvis, right, calling their resemblance ‘uncanny’

Elvis Presley’s Graceland launches $100 VIP virtual tours of the music icon’s Memphis mansion

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