Elvis Presley 's former home, Graceland, has become an iconic landmark in the history of rock and roll. This month, the luxurious dwelling celebrates its 30th year as a tourist attraction. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, in a less than salubrious area of the city, Graceland has been visited by almost 18 million visitors in those three decades since opening its doors to the public.
The house opened in 1982, just five years after the death of the King of Rock and Roll. In a recent interview, marking the anniversary, Elvis' former wife Priscilla Presley explained that, despite now being very much a tourist attraction, the home has never lost its spark, for her: "Every time I go in there, I feel like Elvis is going to come down the stairs any minute,' she said in a recent interview about the landmark's anniversary. I have no doubt that he's there, somewhere, his spirit. I think people feel that," she said. According to the Daily Mail, the house was opened as a tourist destination when the high estate and inheritance taxes became a burden on his estate. It was Priscilla's decision to open the house to his fans and preserve the unique Elvis-related memorabilia stored in the house.
Around 500,000 fans visit Graceland per year. There is an exhibition area across the street as well as a hotel, aptly named Heartbreak Hotel, where visitors can stay. The enduring appeal of Graceland has been integral in ensuring that the city Memphis is a draw for rock and roll fans from across the globe. In addition to Elvis' former home, visitors can take in the Gibson guitar factory and the numerous blues bars on Beale Street. Commenting on the longevity of the attraction, Priscilla said "It's been incredible to see that the legacy of Elvis is still going strong. We wouldn't have imagined that when it was opened in 1982. Elvis is as popular now as he was then, if not even more."