Two Elvis jets to grace Presley's Memphis home permanently

Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:05pm EDT
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By Tim Ghianni

(Reuters) - Two jets that once belonged to Elvis Presley, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, will have a permanent home at the singer's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland said.

The continued presence of the airplanes, a tour staple since 1984, had been in doubt since a partnership that owned them said last July their agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises was expiring this month and they could be removed.

Graceland said in a statement on Sunday it was "pleased an agreement has been reached" and the airplanes would remain on permanent display. It released no other details.

Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who owns the Graceland mansion, said on Twitter the airplanes would remain at Graceland forever. "We own them and have fun plans 4 them as well," Presley tweeted.

Last July, K.G. Coker, a member of the partnership, said the group was prepared to sell the airplanes if they went off display. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Under its previous agreement, the partnership received a small percentage of the profits from ticket sales to tour Graceland, where the "king of rock 'n' roll" lived. Elvis died there in 1977.

The larger airplane, a Convair 880 four-engine jet, was named for Lisa Marie and is a little smaller than a Boeing 707. The smaller Hound Dog II is a JetStar.

More than half a million people visit Graceland each year, where admission tickets to tour the mansions and airplanes cost $45 for adults.

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville, Tennessee; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Eric Beech)

A child points at a plate with Elvis Presley's name during a Presley memorial event in Tokyo August 12, 2007.    REUTERS/Issei Kato