THIS IS QUITE A LENGTHY DOCUMENT BUT I WOULD URGE YOU TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ THROUGH IT, LOOK AT THE GRAPHIC AND PICTURES WHICH WILL GIVE YOU A MORE ROUNDED AND INFORMED VIEW OF OUR HOPES, DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS FOR
THE CIRCLE G RANCH.
To see a larger version of this graphic go to our Vision For The Ranch Graphic page
This Presentation has been drawn up by the Circle G Foundation – a non-profitorganisation dedicated to securing the future of the property on Goodman Road, Horn Lake, Mississippi, formally owned by Elvis Aaron Presley and known as The Circle G Ranch and in doing so providing facilities for the disabled, disadvantaged, service veterans and others in need and thus continuing Elvis Presley’s charitable and humanitarian legacy.
The ranch is currently on the open market for $3.9 million USD (£2.6 million GBP). Our organisation’s main priority is to find a buyer/investor(s) who can purchase the ranch and hopefully work with us to realise the site’s potential. The other alternative is to try to raise the money ourselves.
The Circle G Foundation is run by a dedicated team and has global representation.
The Circle G Foundation believes that continued fan and resident involvement in the project would result in a totally unique visitor experience, drawing on a reservoir of specialist knowledge and enthusiasm.
Our plans for the ranch would not only focus on its important role in the life of Elvis Aaron Presley, but would also seek to celebrate the history and culture of Horn Lake and its residents – past and present.
The property is being allowed to deteriorate at an alarming rate and if something is not done soon then the unique features that make this site so significant will be lost forever – which would be a tragic loss for Elvis Presley fans around the world, the City of Horn Lake, the State of Mississippi and the USA as a whole.
If our plans can be realised then the Circle G would provide visitors with a unique experience. Documenting the part it played in Elvis’ life would illustrate another aspect of a man considered to be “perhaps the single most influential figure of the 20th century” (quote from the Smithsonian Institute). It would create an exciting third point in the Elvis Golden Triangle
ELVIS’ BIRTHPLACE IN TUPELO
We also hope to feature the local history of the area – celebrating its rich heritage and culture.
Visitors would be able to enjoy a wide range of leisure facilities and activities
- Hiking and Walking Trails
- Picnic Facilities
- Rental Cabins and/or Camper Van facilities
and much more…..
Elvis’ worldwide popularity shows no indication of decline, just the opposite in fact. Consequently, the ranch’s unique Elvis connection avails it to an existing vast network of marketing possibilities on a worldwide scale.
Hopefully, working with the State of Mississippi and the other established and extremely successful Elvis sites (the Birthplace in Tupelo and Graceland in Memphis), would mean that this collaboration could reach a wide target audience benefitting each site individually as well as collectively.
The development of the ranch in a sympathetic and tasteful manner would also benefit the residents:-
- Economically – providing valuable revenue and employment whilst encouraging and promoting visitors to the area.
- Socially – the ranch would also provide a centre for socialisation for the community, creating a strong sense of identity for the citizens of Horn Lake, raising hopes and aspirations for the future.
- Provide valuable facilities for the disabled and disadvantaged
The Circle G Foundation is a non-profit organisation.
We have a Management Teams with a wide range of expertise.
We have a network of 29 Ambassadors spread around the world. We have representation in the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa and Canada.
The Circle G Foundation came about after 18 months of campaigning to save the property formally owned by Elvis Aaron Presley and known as The Circle G Ranch (or Flying Circle G)
(i) Background & Experience
All of those involved are first and foremost long time fans of Elvis Presley, who realise the importance of this site and its value not only to other Elvis fans but also the City of Horn Lake, the State of Mississippi and beyond. As individuals we bring a wide range of experience to the table, from business, tourism, health care, social work and more. As a group we have an unrivalled knowledge of the history and significance of Elvis Presley, his achievements, humanitarianism and his overall influence on society.
(ii) Motivation, Aims and Objectives.
The Circle G Foundation is a non-profit organisation initially set up in the UK. In the future we hope to also set up a sister non-profit organisation in the USA. We operate under the guidelines of the relevant authorities.
Our motivation is to help save this significant site in the story of Elvis Presley and establish a centre providing facilities for disabled & disadvantaged children, service veterans and others in need.
In 2011 we carried out a survey of Elvis fans from around the world. The results confirmed that Elvis fans care a great deal about the preservation of the site. (see figs.1, 2, 3 & 4) However, to achieve this we understand that the site needs, to a degree, to be developed commercially. From the beginning our Aims and Objectives have been to see the site developed in a sympathetic and tasteful manner and in doing so, securing its future for generations to come.
(i) Name & Status
The Organisation (Business) name at present is The Circle G Foundation – Where the King became a Cowboy ©
(ii) Our role
As a non-profit organisation our main role is to raise funds to create facilities for disabled and disadvantaged children and service veterans whilst also raising awareness of the plight of the ranch, facilitate discussion between the interested parties and in doing so find a buyer/investor(s) to help us achieve our goal, fulfil the potential of the site and secure its future.
(iii) Our Aims and Objectives
Our initial target is obviously to secure a buyer/investor(s) for the ranch and remove it from the open market. Because of the continuing deterioration of the solid structures (house, bridge, cross and barns) this is a priority.
Our vision is to see it sympathetically and tastefully restored to how it was when Elvis knew and loved it. Obviously it would be a wonderful (and important) place for his fans to visit but we see it as much more. The ranch has the potential to offer wonderful leisure facilities for disabled children, children from deprived homes and also to offer therapy facilities for service veterans. We are hoping that it will also be used by the residents of Horn Lake; our proposal for a small Visitor Centre on site would not only tell of Elvis’ time at the ranch but also celebrate the heritage and culture of Horn Lake and its residents – past and present.
By offering walking trails, horse riding and much more the Circle G ranch could be a wonderful memorial to Elvis and, following his example, give back to those less fortunate.
Once the ownership of the ranch is secured and following structural surveys, repairs and renovation work to bring the site up to the required standards will be required.
In the present situation and with lack of access to the property, it is difficult to estimate the time frame for these works. However, it will only require one or two more harsh winters before the solid structures are beyond repair and lost forever.
If our plans could be initiated before the end of 2013, we would hope that visitors would initially have limited access within a reasonable time frame, with the majority of works completed in time for Elvis Week in August 2015.
(i) Products & Services
The Circle G Ranch, as the only Elvis ranch, would provide a unique experience for visitors. Whilst striving to achieve the same high standards found at The Birthplace in Tupelo Mississippi and Graceland in Memphis Tennessee, the Circle G Ranch would give the visitor a more rounded view of Elvis the ‘man’ rather than focusing on the well known ‘image’.
At present Elvis fans who visit the site are excited just to get a glimpse of the house, cross or bridge; when they are able to visit and have the ‘Circle G Experience’, they will be thrilled and the ranch will become an important site on every fans ‘must see’ list.
Our vision is to see the ranch provide many and varied visitor facilities…..
Picnic Tables and Shelters
Visitor Centre & exhibits celebrating the areas heritage and culture
Cabins for short-term rental and or Camper Van facilities
Facilities catering for the disabled and for service veterans.
Private rental and events.
Of course some would be specifically aimed at Elvis’ fans….
Visitor Centre exhibits focusing on Elvis’ love of the area and his horses.
Dedication Trail and garden below the cross
Elvis themed events.
Such facilities and events would not only appeal to the Elvis fan but a far wider target audience, local, national and international.
Elvis fans – our key customer group – are un-definable in terms of age, gender, income levels, location and sectors. Thousands of them visit Tupelo and Memphis every year (many returning time after time). For them to have the opportunity to add another Elvis site to their ‘bucket list’ of places to see, will be of immense significance to them and we have no doubt that they will visit in significant numbers.
The ranch, once in operation, would obviously need to respond and react to customer reviews and needs, although never loosing sight of our initial aims and objectives to provide a tasteful, respectful and professional visitor experience.
We would prefer to view the other Elvis sites (ie The Birthplace in Tupelo and Graceland in Memphis) as partners rather than competitors. As the ranch experience would be giving visitors a chance to learn a little more about Elvis Presley, hopefully after visiting the Birthplace, Graceland and the ranch they would more fully appreciate the man, his life and achievements.
Regarding competitors outside the Elvis world, we hope that the ranch experience might appeal to a more specialised customer base which would hopefully not have too much of a negative impact on other businesses.
It is important to point out that because of the Elvis connection, it is vital upon development of the ranch to have established good communication and a sound working relationship with Elvis Presley Enterprises and abide by all the legalities pertaining to copyright and trademark laws.
(ii) Competition. - Obviously within the Elvis world there are two main sites in the vicinity – The Birthplace in Tupelo Ms and Graceland in Memphis Tn.
We would sincerely hope that the opening of the ranch would not be viewed as ‘competition’ by either party, but rather providing a complimentary visitor experience. As we have stated previously the ranch would add a ‘must see’ site to the fans ‘bucket list’. Many fans return time and time again to the area, visiting sites on numerous occasions.
We at the Circle G Foundation are Elvis fans and so have a real insight into the ‘wants and needs’ of the specific Elvis fan as a customer base – another valuable aspect of our organisation; however, our vision is to offer much more.
Guests would be able to visit the on-site visitor centre. This would document, in a ‘Time-Line’ format, the history of the ranch prior to and including Elvis’ ownership and on to the present day.
We would also strive to provide a pictorial history of the area and people, thus giving a fully rounded and informative picture of the area’s heritage and culture and its residents past and present.
Obviously we would feature interpretive exhibits from the time Elvis owned the ranch including documents, items from the ranch house, TV and press coverage and pictures and quotations from those who spent time there with him.
(iii) Marketing Activities - Within the Elvis world there already exists an extensive and unrivalled network of communication. Obviously the ability to visit such an important site would generate a great deal of interest and, to a degree, would be self-perpetuating – thus reaching our ‘core’ customers in an effective manner.
The ranch already features in the DeSoto County Visitors Guide, the Mississippi Official Tour Guide and on the Horn Lake Map. We would hope that once open and available for visitors, the ranch and its amenities would feature more prominently. The DeSoto Co. Tourism Board has stated that they “see the potential in the development of the site”. (Margaret Devine, Director of Sales)
To advertise to a wider audience we would hope to have promotional flyers available at key sites and expand on our informative website which is already in operation.
(iv) Pricing - These are very tentative figures but we would hope to keep all charges to a nominal level.
General Admission $10 – $12
Horse Riding (extra) $30 to $70 – depending on activity
Lessons or trail rides
Fishing (extra) A Basic Fishing pass starting at $30
Equipment rental could also be available
Therapeutic Activities (extra)
Horn Lake Honeymoon Festival – on or around May 1st.
This themed event would commemorate Elvis and Priscilla spending a portion of their honeymoon period at the ranch and would coincide with ‘Memphis in May’.
A wide range of special events and activities could be staged with live music, concerts and guest appearances.
These would tie in with the Elvis honeymoon connection and could provide a very useful showcase for local businesses.
Private Event Hire
The Circle G Foundation has already established connections with specialist travel companies in both the US and the UK. We feel sure that other bodies would be interested if the venue were available for private hire.
We realise that a reasonable admission charge of $10 – $12 plus shop sales may not entirely fund the upkeep in the early days (and we would hope to offer reduced rates for residents just wanting to use the picnic and walking trail facilities etc.,) but the development of the site as a riding school and horse sanctuary etc. would certainly go some way towards this. And together with the additional revenue from themed events, private hire, concerts and fayres we are hopeful that sufficient revenue would be raised.
The ranch is located on the main highway thus having excellent access for visitors. Its proximity to Graceland, only a 20 – 30 minute drive away, means it would be easily accessible for fans and others wanting to enjoy the full ‘Elvis Experience’.
Many visitors already take the trip to Tupelo in addition to Graceland; the ranch would be an amazing 3rd point of interest – creating a unique Elvis Golden Triangle.
The size of the property would enable any events to take place without unduly affecting the surrounding area and its residents un-necessarily. The Circle G Foundation has always endeavoured to engage with the residents of Horn Lake and would continue to do so.
The Circle G Foundation has always stressed the importance of maintaining the ranch’s tranquillity (vital in explaining its appeal to Elvis). We believe that any development should follow the excellent example of The Birthplace in Tupelo; we feel this fact is of great importance to the residents of Horn Lake and would want to assure them that every effort would be made to restrict any unwanted or unnecessary intrusion on the community.
Obviously this is pure conjecture before a new owner is found. However, the continued involvement of Elvis fans in the running and management of the organisation would bring valuable knowledge and enthusiasm to the project and would greatly enhance the overall visitor experience. We have no doubt that there would be no difficulty whatsoever in recruiting fans to act as volunteer guides, in fact we would suggest that there would always be a waiting list of fans just wanting to spend time there!
Initially staffing would be needed for the shop and museum and maintenance, along with knowledgeable guides who could provide information on the ranch’s history and not just Elvis’ ownership.
As the site developed and the facilities for horse riding, walking trails, wildlife watching, fishing etc. came along, then staff with knowledge and expertise in these fields would be required. We feel sure that the residents of Horn Lake and the surrounding areas could offer a wide range of skills along with the advice and assistance of specialist staff from other organisations (i.e. horse sanctuaries, service veterans associations etc.). We have the full support of the Mayor of Horn Lake and the Board of Alderman together with the support of Senator Thad Cochran.
As in any business it would be necessary to establish effective internal systems (i.e. IT systems) to deal with ticketing, sales, stock, bookings and administration.
As the ranch is so unique in its conception, both as a new Elvis Presley attraction and as a facility for the local community and a wider visitor audience, it is somewhat difficult to forecast trading results etc. However, using the Birthplace in Tupelo as our ‘model’, it is possible to outline and draw parallels between the two sites and thus provide some baseline statistics.
The Birthplace in Tupelo welcomes around 50,000 paid admissions annually. Unlike the Birthplace, which has some attractions to see without paying an admission fee, each visitor to the ranch would be required to purchase a ticket.
The Birthplace estimates a possible additional 25,000 ‘tyre-kickers’ (non-fee paying visitors) thus taking the possible annual visitor numbers up to the 70 – 75,000 region.
If we take the ranch’s basic admission price as $10 then ticket sales could be estimated around the possible $50,000 to $75,000 mark.
It is important to point out that Graceland is the 2nd most visited home in the USA, just behind the The White House – in 2011 Graceland welcomed around 500,000 visitors.
Tupelo holds an annual Elvis Festival, which attracts between 7,500 and 10,000 visitors.
The estimated economic impact on Tupelo businesses due to the additional revenue generated during the festival is around $1.4 million USD
The Festival has a budget of $202,000, utilizing around 3,000 volunteer hours, year round planning, in the week of the festival a volunteer crew of approx. 20 people working 8-10 hours a day for 3 days and 12 – 18 hours 2 days and 8 – 10 hours for clean up.
(Statistics and information provided by Mr T Green, Vice President, Tupelo Chamber of Commerce. Community Development Foundation – Tupelo/Lee County).
Again, we would stress that using Elvis fans as volunteers would benefit all concerned and we would hope that the proposed Horn Lake Honeymoon Festival held at the Circle G Ranch would have similar economic benefits for the City.
It is important to mention at this point that The Birthplace is currently undertaking significant site expansion, which has been partially funded by the Mississippi State Legislature with matching funds from the City of Tupelo, the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation, Tupelo Convention Centre and Visitor Bureau and the Carpenter Foundation. All of who recognise the benefits of having an ‘Elvis’ attraction in their locality and the revenue it brings to their area and citizens.
Looking at the bigger picture (Graceland in Memphis), which in the 30 years it has been open to the public, has averaged more than 600,000 visitors a year, with more than 750,000 in key anniversary years. With an average ticket price of around $32 with the average visitor spending around $200 in the shops and food outlets; that works out at around $21.6 million in annual ticket sales.
If the Circle G ranch secured just a small percentage of the visitor numbers from Graceland then the initial investment would be returned in a reasonably short period.
The ranch also has the potential for additional income in ways that are totally unique to it…
Livery & Grazing
Cabin Rental and Campervan facilities
Concerts and Music Events
Local Fayres and Events.
It is possible to use other facilities in the area as guidelines for costing
Horse Trail Riding
Between $50 for a 3 mile ride and $70 for an 8 mile ride
(Greenridge Horse Ranch PA used for price comparison).
Shorter horse riding session, grooming sessions and private riding lessons could also be available starting at around $25 per session.
Cabins & RSV’s
Yogi’s Memphis Jellystone Park
RV prices – Premium $55 nightly
Standard $45 nightly – $270 weekly
Tent sites $35 nightly
Cabins Nightly $100 to $129
Legion State Park Mississippi – From $60 per night per cabin
Elvis Presley Boulevard RV Park – $32 per day
Pepaction Cabins – New York Campsite & Fishing facility
Spinning Rod with lure $10 per day
Private Hire Venue
Hire rates for private functions obviously depend on the function type, duration etc.
Initial Purchase $3.9 million USD
(Asking price as at March 2012)
Renovation and Repairs to House, Bridge, Cross and Horse Barns
Repairs/erection of fencing, Landscape and maintenance
Erection/conversion of house, shop, refreshment, toilet facilities.
Provision of car parking/hard standing
Picnic tables and shelters
Provision of Recreational trails
(Outdoor recreational Grants available – i.e. Ms Recreational Trails Programme.).
Further development of on-site facilities to provide the suggested leisure facilities (cabins, RV site, horse riding, horse trekking, fishing etc) could take place as and when funding/investment became available – a rolling programme of development.
Fact! The Circle G Ranch played a significant part in the life of Elvis Presley. His time there coincided with enormous changes in his life – as a newly married man, expectant father and an entertainer approaching a life changing crossroads in his career.
Fact! In the years after Elvis sold the ranch he spoke fondly of it to friends and family and returned many times to reminisce on the good times spent there.
Fact! The manner in which Elvis fans from all around the world have united behind the efforts of The Circle G Foundation validates the belief that Elvis fans care about the ranch and want its future secured.
The Circle G ranch has so much potential – we here at The Circle G Foundation hope that our ‘Vision for the future of the ranch’ will have opened up some of the incredible possibilities it possesses.
The Circle G Experience will offer something totally unique to its visitors – for Elvis fans and non-fans alike, whilst providing the opportunity to pursue Elvis’ humanitarian legacy in the process.
We sincerely believe that the social and economic benefits for the Horn Lake area and its residents make the project one to investigate and take forward.
This is an incredible opportunity to make it a very special place for all concerned.
NOW VISIT THE GRAPHIC PAGE TO SEE PICTURES AND IDEAS ON THE LAYOUT