It looks like Elvis Presley’s customized airplanes are not going anywhere anytime soon and will remain at Graceland, where they’ve been for a long time.
Graceland released a statement Sunday saying the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, two airplanes that were once owned by the famous singer, will stay permanently at the Memphis tourist attraction that focuses on his great career.
The announcement ends all the questions about the future of the two custom designed planes, once used by the King for travel to performances after he bought them in the 1970s.
The biggest one, a Convair 880 named after Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie, is customized to the fullest, complete with a large bed, a stereo system, conference room and gold-plated bathroom fixtures. It was customized after Presley bought it from Delta Air Lines. The singer took his first flight on it in November 1975, so almost 40 years ago.
When Presley died, Presley’s pilot flew the Lisa Marie to California to pick up Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, to bring her back to Memphis. The smaller plane, a JetStar named the Hound Dog II, was also used by the singer.
Sold and Bought by OKC Partnership
The two planes were sold after his death, and they were bought by a company called OKC Partnership. The company and Graceland made an agreement to keep the planes in there in the 1980s, and it became a popular place after visitors asked to see them. Their agreement called for OKC Partnership to receive part of ticket sales in return for keeping the planes parked at Graceland. But the whole thing turned into a dispute last year.
In an April 7, 2014, letter to OKC Partnership, Elvis Presley Enterprises said it was thinking of ending the deal and asked the company “to make arrangements for the removal of the airplanes and the restoration of the site on or shortly after April 26, 2015.”
Fans didn’t take it lightly and took the discussion to Priscilla Presley’s Facebook page. She told the fans posting on her page to “please calm down.”
At the start of this month, Shelby County’s land use board approved a proposal by OKC Partnership to take the planes to a lot near Graceland. The plan called for the planes to be set as an outdoor display and museum for tourists to visit. The plan was approved a week ago by the Memphis City Council.
It was just a matter of time before planes were moved, but Graceland’s statement pretty much shot down the plans.
“Graceland is pleased that an agreement has been reached for Elvis’ two airplanes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II to remain at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis permanently,” the statement said.
Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, said on social media that Graceland now owns the planes and they will remain at Graceland “4 ever.”
“We own them and have fun plans 4 them as well,” she said on Twitter. She did not elaborate further.
OKC Partnership did not comment on the plans and statement from Graceland on Sunday.