This week, thousands of Elvis Presley fans made their way to his famous Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn. Elvis Week celebrates the life and marks the anniversary of the rock and roll legend's death on Aug. 16, 1977. This year, the company that is keeping Graceland alive for new generations of Presley fans had some big announcements.
The property is set to be part of a $45 million expansion project, the largest since the was property opened to the public in 1982. Elvis: Past, Present & Future is a 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex that is scheduled to open in spring 2017. The new space will include a brand new visitors center and new exhibits that feature Presley's impressive car collection and other memorabilia. A 20,000-square-foot event space will also feature live music performances, movie screenings and premieres.
Two new restaurants will be named after Presley's parents, Gladys and Vernon. Gladys' Diner will serve classic American dishes, including Elvis' beloved grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. Vernon's Smokehouse will serve up authentic Memphis BBQ, which will be smoked on site.
A $92 million resort complex, the Guest House at Graceland, will also open on Oct. 27. The hotel will allow visitors to stay within walking distance of all of the property's attractions.
"We are thrilled to bring Elvis fans the opportunity to explore the things that Elvis loved and what he would have loved today - the music, the technology, the experiences," Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner, Graceland Holdings, LLC, said in a statement. "Elvis: Past Present & Future will enable our visitors to live a day in the life of Elvis Presley. Whether you've been to Graceland multiple times or have yet to make the trip, we know that you will be entertained, educated and inspired like never before, here at the world's greatest music landmark."