Grand overhaul proposed for Graceland

A man calling himself Elvis' biggest fan wants a major overhaul for Graceland. Robert Sillerman believes there's a lot he can do to improve Memphis' most famous attraction.

"Graceland will no longer be a house tour," he said Thursday. "It will be a thematic attraction, and it will take its place in this country with the great attractions like Disneyland, Universal, ect."

Sillerman runs CKX Incorporated, the company that took over Graceland's operations one year ago. He wants to expand the attraction, drawing visitors for days, not just hours.

"We want to give people more things to do when they visit it," he said. "It's not going to become an amusement park. It will always pay homage to Elvis, and his impact as a cultural icon in America."

According to Sillerman, about 600,000 people visit Graceland every year. He believes that number could easily multiply. John Moore, President of the Memphis Regional Chamber, said an improved Graceland could be beneficial to the city.

"That can mean a tremendous amount of tax revenue, jobs, and a great economic benefit for our entire community," he said.

Local leaders support the vision, even though it is still vague. At a breakfast meeting Thursday, Sillerman said details will depend on the partnerships he develops locally. Sillerman said he will preserve the house at Graceland, and he wants to restore the mansion to the way it looked the year Elvis died.