MEMPHIS, TN – Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, TN has officially welcomed its 20 millionth visitor today, nearly 34 years after first opening its legendary gates to the public.
The iconic mansion was home to Elvis and his family for 20 years and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Since beginning tours on June 7, 1982, Graceland has hosted music fans from around the world, coming from more than 140 countries, along with US presidents, foreign heads of state, esteemed royalty and hundreds of notable music artists, actors and celebrities, who have visited the historic home to honor and celebrate Elvis Presley’s incredible legacy.
Graceland continues to be known as one of the most famous residences in world, joining the ranks of The White House and Buckingham Palace. The 20 million visitor milestone is the total reached for paid admissions since Graceland opened to the public.
Newlywed Tiffany Greenoak, 31, originally from Montreal, Canada, and now residing in London, England, was named the 20 millionth visitor to Graceland this morning. On her honeymoon with husband Robert Greenoak, 40, the couple had no idea that they were about to become part of Graceland history when handed their tickets for the tour of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s famous Memphis mansion. Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, greeted the newlyweds on the front steps of Graceland to kick off the celebrations which included a private tour of Presley’s home with staff from the Graceland Archives. As an added bonus, Priscilla Presley spoke to Tiffany and Robert by phone as they stood in front of Graceland and congratulated them on their 20 millionth milestone status.
“We played Elvis music at our wedding, so for us as a couple, this trip to Memphis has tremendous meaning. It has been a dream to visit Graceland. I just can’t believe we’re here. We both grew up with Elvis music in our homes, our mums were big fans,” said Tiffany. “It says a lot that 20 million people have been here and to turn out to be the 20 millionth visitor is an incredible honor. We’ll have to come back for our anniversary and maybe we’ll be the 40 millionth visitor.”
In addition to the private tour, the couple also received an invitation for a return trip to Memphis that includes a three-night stay at Graceland’s new, world-class resort hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, opening October 27, 2016. The 20 Millionth Visitor Prize Pack also includes a one-year pass to Graceland, a $500 shopping spree at Graceland retail stores and the recently released 60-CD box set “ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION” from Legacy Records, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment.
People at home have the opportunity to join in the celebration of this extraordinary milestone by entering Graceland’s “20 Million Elvis Fans Giveaway.” Every day through May 22, one online participant will win an Elvis prize pack. A grand prize winner will also be selected from the online entries to win a getaway to Memphis including a private tour of Graceland, a three-night stay at the new Guest House at Graceland, tickets to other Memphis music attractions, and the Elvis Presley limited-edition 60-CD box set. To enter for your chance to win in the online giveaway, go to Graceland.com/Giveaway. U.S. residents only for online contest.
Visitors to Graceland will also have the opportunity to win a prize pack (one prize pack each day through May 22) by checking in via Facebook when they are on site at Graceland Plaza.
Elvis fans around the world will also have the opportunity to become part of Graceland history by submitting a photo of themselves or their visit to Graceland, to help create a new Fan Mosaics photo mural of Graceland Mansion, which will be displayed at Graceland Plaza during Elvis Week 2016. Each photo submission will also become a permanent part of the Graceland Archives to preserve this special moment in history.
Graceland was once part of a 500-acre farm that was owned by the S.E. Toof family, who built the home in 1939 and named it after Grace Toof. In the spring of 1957, at the age of 22, Elvis purchased the home and 13-acre grounds for just over $100,000. The previous year had been a whirlwind – it was Elvis’ first year of super-stardom including historic network television appearances, record-breaking live performances and armloads of gold record awards. Over the 20 years Elvis lived at the stately colonial revival-style mansion, Graceland created countless memories for the many friends and relatives who were a part of Elvis’ life. Because Graceland was so close to Elvis’ heart, it also holds deep meaning to his legions of fans from around the world. For many, the Elvis Presley mansion embodies the American Dream – a poor small town boy who reached super stardom and changed pop culture and the world forever.
As the front door to Elvis Presley’s mansion opens, guests are taken on an unforgettable journey into the private world of an American legend, guided by a state-of-the-art iPad tour narrated by Elvis fan and actor John Stamos. The Graceland experience also includes the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, Elvis’ two airplanes, rotating exhibits on Elvis’ life and career, and themed restaurants and gift shops at Graceland Plaza.
Elvis fans can look forward to an exciting year at Graceland featuring Elvis Week in August, as well as the grand opening of The Guest House at Graceland in October 2016.