For $6.5 million, a ranch fit for a King

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For $6.5 million, you can own a piece of property fit for a King.

The famous Circle G Ranch, better known as the Elvis Ranch near Memphis, is available — and people have been inquiring from all over the world.

Prudential Collins-Maury Realtors agent Rodger Motz, who is handling the sale, told The Memphis Commercial Appeal that calls have come from as far away as Denmark.

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“I knew before I listed the property that there were a lot of Elvis fans out there,” Motz said. “But I have to admit, I was surprised to get a call from that far away.”

Elvis Presley owned the 155-acre ranch, just across the Tennessee-Mississippi state line in Horn Lake, Miss., from 1966-71. He and Priscilla honeymooned there in 1968, and the building known as the “honeymoon cottage” still stands today.

Motz said the ranch is zoned for planned unit development, but it’s anyone’s guess what will become of the property once it’s sold.

“When it was for sale a few years back, we were trying to make a Starz Resort out of it,” Motz said. “We tried two different times to get that done with two different buyers, but they never came through with the money.”

Horn Lake planning director Anita Rainey said large-scale developments would be a failure.

“There has been talk of a development that would be sort of a cross between Branson, Mo., and Las Vegas,” Rainey said. “Some people have had visions of high-rise condos and honeymoon cottages — even a replica of the White House. But I don’t see that happening.”

Rainey said a large number of tourists find the ranch during annual Elvis Week festivities, and she believes it could be an even bigger draw if it’s developed properly.

Rainey hopes a buyer puts together a combination of residential and commercial development with certain elements of Elvis history preserved as the centerpiece.

“I think they should maintain certain parts of the ranch like the honeymoon house and the bridge across the lake,” Rainey said. “There’s also a cross out there that was built before Elvis bought the property, and I believe that should stay.”

Rainey said the area needs some outlets for tourists to spend money while taking in some Elvis history. Such a combination would be good for Horn Lake, she said.

“During Elvis Week, it’s always hard for me to believe the number of people out there taking pictures of a pasture,” Rainey said. “If there were restaurants and hotels out there, it could certainly be a very positive thing for the city.”