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|ARE EPE ACTUALLY STARTING TO LISTENING TO THE FANS?
March 16, 2017 - Tony 'News Hound-Dog' Stuchbury / Elvis Express Radio
Ever since the "Grand" opening of the new 'Elvis Presley's Memphis', there has been a steady flow of nightmare reports from fans who have visited the new complex to find there
are basically charges for every little thing...including to simply walk around the complex and as a result, noticing the rather glaringly obvious lack of fans around the place. Empty
restaurants, gift shops, etc! etc! etc!
We have run articles and talked in length about this disastrous opening period on our weekly show as have many other Elvis forums / sites and maybe, or hopefully EPE may well
be starting to actually listen to their customer base...... The fans.
Below is the very latest updates from a fan in Memphis who reports back on what is happening right now after the initial fan outcries regarding the new complex....
Well, I've got some encouraging news for fans about "Elvis Presley's Memphis".
I did another walk-thru of the new facility on Monday (looking for some specific FTD titles to help a friend).
For a cloudy & cold Monday afternoon I was impressed with how many people were there! The lines were fairly long at the ticket office, as were the lines leading to the vans
preparing to take tourists to see Elvis' home. Then I walked into Glady's Diner, which now offers full access to everyone (even for those without an exhibit ticket), and I was
pleasantly surprised to see how many patrons were there eating lunch. Making that diner accessible for everyone was a quick (and wise) change on EPE's part.
I got to thinking & wondering why so many people were there at the new complex, and then it dawned on me that this week is spring break for most schools throughout the United
So this good news tells me something that I really hadn't thought much about until now. -- I can't verify this without data from past years, but it appears to me that Graceland only
has about a 2-month period in the winter where tourism is extremely low, and that begins immediately after Elvis' birthday week in early January until early March when Daylight
Saving Time begins along with spring break for teachers, students & families nationwide. After that there's Easter weekend when many people get a 3 or 4-day weekend and by this
time the weather has started to improve with warmer temperatures which always motivates people to get out more and take weekend trips.
Then comes the annual "Memphis In May International Festival" http://www.memphisinmay.org/events/worl ... g-contest/ , and then Memorial Day weekend with the always-busy
summer season rapidly approaching. When autumn comes there are still many adult travelers/tourists that come to Memphis & Graceland, and then that carries into the long 4-day
Thanksgiving weekend in November and then right into the holiday season which always includes the Christmas lights ceremony. By this time another Elvis birthday celebration is
right around the corner.
I suppose the glass might be half full instead of half empty after all.
SO, EPE have corrected the crazy policy of making customers buy a ticket if they wanted to buy food in their restaurants ..... Right, as we publish this nice bit of news, Tony sends
through another update from our unknown fan in Memphis, who answers a really simple, even obvious question that because of what we had before, we have pretty much taken for
granted regarding the new complex.....
Does the new complex have Elvis music airing outside 24/7?:
~ Actually not that I noticed. Now that it's been mentioned about whether or not Elvis' songs are playing there, perhaps that's why my first impression was that the complex seemed
"fake/cold" (especially when the crowds weren't there, yet).
I remember hearing Elvis songs playing in the distance from inside some of the buildings, and some of the shops had Elvis songs playing at a very low volume, but I don't recall the
music being played outside in the open. Maybe that's one of the reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on why things just didn't feel right. However, I really have no idea if they play
Elvis' songs there late at night or 24/7.
Now then, let's rewind to the very start of our fans original review and why he was back at the new complex?
He had made a return to 'Elvis Presleys Memphis' in order to look for certain FTD releases for a friend.....and his experience went like this:
There's a building at the complex with an "ELVIS THE ENTERTAINER" marquee/header. That particular place is an exhibit building and everyone must purchase a ticket to have
access to it as part of a tour package. Unbelievably, that's exactly where all the FTD material is located... in an over-sized gift shop there!
In the "free area" section of the complex, the first over-sized shop you see indoors is to the right of the ticket booths and that is exactly where they should put most of their FTD
material in order to give EVERYONE an opportunity to take notice of it.
It's almost as if they're trying to hide some of their retail product in the other over-sized gift shop in the "ELVIS THE ENTERTAINER" building. What the heck are they thinking?!
The reason I was allowed to go and look inside the gift shop in the "ELVIS THE ENTERTAINER" building (on both of my visits) is because I told them I was a local resident looking
only for the FTD books and CDs... and yes, I had to explain to them what the FTDs were.
On my first visit I got permission from one of the men in charge of security and he didn't bother to escort me there. On my second visit I didn't see that same man, so I had to get
permission from a retail supervisor (Reuben) to walk over there. This time however, Reuben escorted me... I suppose he wanted to make sure I wasn't just trying to get into the
exhibit for a sneak peek. Geezz! How awkward that felt.
The only old Graceland shop remaining open (for now) is located near the street, north of the airplanes..."Souvenirs of Elvis". It still has a large selection of Elvis product
(including FTDs), but they're not yet able to phone the new "exhibit shop" to see if they have a specific title. And it's a long walk from one shop to the other. The word from all the
workers that I spoke to is that the old shop will close sometime in the future, but no one knew exactly when.
EPE would be very wise to leave "Souvenirs of Elvis" open, especially due to the fact that it's almost directly across the street from the new hotel, and it's easily accessible to the
Wow... Do they need someone to tell them the right way to do everything?!
Another suggestion made by the poster on the forum makes so much sense that it's a real mystery why EPE didn't think about this themselves......The idea was for a new walk
through exhibit focusing on "Elvis Presley's Memphis" a place to seeof historic and nostalgic photos along with artifacts of the City of Memphis that Elvis knew, grew up in, lived his
life in and loved so much.
As rightly suggested It could include photos of every house / street which Elvis resided at in Memphis, and it could also include the many photos of Elvis taken in Memphis all
throughout his life.
We here at EER could not agree more with what the poster says in his final words...." It's amazing how the fans are able to think of these things. The so-called professional experts
just don't get it... because they really don't get what Elvis was all about." Amen to that, let's continue to TCB-4-EAP