27 April, 2015 - RollingStone.com
Elvis Presley's custom-designed airplanes – the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II – will remain permanent fixtures at Graceland. The late singer's Memphis estate issued a statement on Sunday confirming the plans – a change from previous arrangements to relocate Presley's tricked-out private jets to a nearby lot, The Associated Press reports.
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The Lisa Marie, a Convair 880 named after the rock legend's daughter, features a red-white-and-blue exterior, gold-plated bathroom fixtures, a stereo system, a conference room and bed. According to a Julien's auction listing from January, Presley bought the jet from Delta Air Lines for $250,000 in April 1975; refurbishing brought the total to over $600,000, and he first boarded the craft in November of that year. Presley purchased The Hound Dog II, a Lockheed JetStar, in 1975 for around $900,000 as he awaited renovations for the Lisa Marie.
After changing hands following Presley's death in 1977, the planes ended up in the care of OKC Partnership, who agreed in the mid-Eighties to display the planes at Graceland in exchange for a cut of ticket sales. But the situation became complicated in April 2014, when Elvis Presley Enterprises sent a letter to OKC asking the company to "make arrangements for the removal of the airplanes and the restoration of the site on or shortly after April 26, 2015."
This month, OKC received approval from the Shelby County land use board and Memphis City Council to move the planes to a nearby lot, where they'd be displayed outdoors as a tourist museum. But Graceland's latest comments seem to nullify those 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 estate said in a statement.
OKC Partnership declined an immediate comment from AP. But Lisa Marie Presley appeared to confirm the news on her Twitter account: "Exciting news:I wanted 2 b the first to tell U: The Planes will remain at Graceland 4 ever!" she wrote. "We own them and have fun plans 4 them as well :)"
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