Graceland marks 30th year as tourist attraction

This Aug. 2010 photo shows Graceland, Elvis Presley's home in Memphis, Tenn. Graceland opened for tours on June 7, 1982. They sold out all 3,024 tickets on the first day and didn't look back, forever changing the Memphis tourist landscape while keeping Elvis and his legend alive.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

June 13, 2012 4:01:31 AM PDT
It's been 30 years since Graceland opened to the public and the late Elvis Presley's home is a money-maker that has helped Memphis grow.

Presley's ex-wife says it's the spirit of Elvis, and not just music history, that has brought nearly 18 million visitors.

Priscilla Presley recently talked about this month's anniversary of the opening. She told The Associated Press that every time she goes to Graceland, she feels like Elvis is going to come down the stairs any minute.

The King of Rock'n'Roll died in 1977 and the costs of Graceland quickly became a burden.

Accountants wanted to sell the home, but Priscilla Presley thought opening it to tourists could solve the financial problems while keeping Elvis' legacy alive.

Graceland opened for tours on June 7, 1982.

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