Memphis hotels in 'sold out situation' ahead of MLK50

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In just days, thousands of visitors are expected to come to Memphis to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th.

Lester Holt is set to anchor NBC Nightly News on WMC5 on location from the Lorraine Motel as all eyes turn to Memphis.

"There's been so much preparation and digging so deep into the moment and making sure the right people are here to tell the stories that need to be told," Faith Morris, with National Civil Rights Museum, said.

Friday, NCRM advised visitors to be ready to pack their patience next week as large crowds are expected.

"Our hotels for next week are in a sold-out situation. The city is going to be very full," Kevin Kane with Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said. "We've already had over 100 stories around the world; 300 million people have read and viewed those stories leading up to next weeks commemoration."

In recent days, The New York Times has posted articles on things to do in Memphis, as has Vanity Fair's French edition.

However, publications largely focus on the bigger and more important perspective--the global implications stemming from Dr. King's message and death in Memphis.

"It's big for the community. It's a lot of attention on our community, but the most important thing is to keep in mind the reason for next week," Kane said.

Exact figures on attendance won't be known until after the commemoration.

For the Cook family visiting Memphis from Washington D.C., Friday marked a good day to stop at the NCRM and reflect ahead of a major anniversary in the history of Memphis, the nation, and the world.

"It's good that we get to take the kids and have them be a part of something and understand what it means," Alexis Cook said.

Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau said hotels are full. Kendall Downing checked on Airbnb for next week, and they only have less than 20 percent availability for rentals in Memphis.

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