July 2, 2014 / 5:28 PM / 3 years ago

Say goodbye to Graceland: two Elvis jets may leave Memphis home

(Reuters) - The owners of two jets that belonged to Elvis Presley say they have been asked to move the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II from their home of 30 years across the street from Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.

K.G. Coker, one of three men in the OKC partnership that owns the airplanes, said Elvis Presley Enterprises did not renew a contract to display the planes, which runs out in April 2015.

He said Wednesday he hoped something could be worked out to keep the planes on the Presley property.

“They’ve been there since April of 1984,” Coker said in a telephone interview.“We bought them and put them there, hoping fans would enjoy them. And they have. Millions of fans have gone through them over the years.”

Coker said he and his partners are Elvis fans and also get a small percentage of the profit from ticket sales to tour Graceland, where the “king of rock ‘n’ roll” lived and died.

Elvis Presley Enterprises declined to comment on Wednesday.

Coker said the larger plane, the Lisa Marie, named for Elvis’ daughter, is a Convair 880. Coker said the plane, similar in size to a Boeing 707, was flown by Delta until it retired and Elvis bought it. The smaller Hound Dog II is a JetStar.

Coker said Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden sent them a letter in April saying the contract would not be renewed.

“My hope would be that Graceland would change their mind and decide those airplanes need to be at Graceland,” Coker said. “They are part of the Elvis experience.”

Coker said the partnership was prepared to sell the planes if they go off the display.

Half a million people each year visit Graceland, where one ticket costs $72.

Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville, Tennessee; Editing by David Bailey and David Bailey

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