Sillerman’s Elvis Odyssey

As CKX’s Robert F.X. Sillerman reveals more about his plan to reinvent Graceland and beyond, some Elvis impersonators are wondering about their own futures.

Sillerman told The New York Times that the Heartbreak Hotel and visitor center will be torn down to make way for two 400-room hotels, a convention space, entertainment complex, retail and restaurant areas, outdoor amphitheatre and spa. There are also plans to expand the wedding chapel on the property near the historic mansion.

The media mogul also said he wants to raise the icon’s profile in Las Vegas with an interactive museum exhibit and Elvis theme show.

“He has sort of been in a holding pattern,” Sillerman told the paper. “He has maintained the status as the icon that he is without any thought about his legacy, his legend and how we could take advantage of that.”

The former concert promoter wants to change the Graceland tour to a “multiday experience” instead of the current two-hour walk. Sillerman’s CKX reportedly has warehouses filled with 600,000 pieces of Elvis goods that have yet to be displayed, not to mention access to artists to perform at the proposed shed via his company’s “American Idol” franchise.

Fred Jones Jr., president of concert production company SMC Entertainment and part-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, said Sillerman is on the right track.

“The effect it’s going to have on everybody’s business in Memphis is tremendous,” he told the Times. “We’ve never had the resources to actually get it done.”

But Sillerman’s vision doesn’t stop there.

“If you walk through Graceland, it screams at you, ‘Take me to Vegas! Take me to Vegas!'” he told the Times.

Should that move be made, the fate of current Presley impersonators could be up in the air. Elvis Presley Enterprises has allowed many impersonators to freely use the Elvis name and image as a marketing strategy for decades. The concern is that if CKX opens its own theme show, the company won’t continue that tradition.

A Las Vegas Tourism spokesman said there at least 50 full-time Elvii along with weekend and part-time impersonators who are employed in Glitter Gulch.

Sillerman told the paper that no decisions have been made regarding the working Elvii.

“If we were going to do a show that was based on Elvis impersonators, then obviously it wouldn’t make sense to have unauthorized Elvis impersonators,” he said.

Meanwhile, CKX is reportedly in the process of acquiring and shutting down the privately owned Elvis-O-Rama museum and gift shop located on the Strip.