By The Associated Press
HERNANDO — A group of Elvis Presley fans wants to preserve the memory of the king’s cowboy side by finding a buyer for a DeSoto County ranch to make it a destination for visitors.
Elvis bought the roughly 150-acre Circle G ranch in 1967 as a place to ride horses and get away from Graceland. The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/169yg1k ) that the ranch was sold in 1972 and has fallen into disrepair.
Current owners have the property on the market — the original price was $6.5 million but has dropped to $3.9 million — and the Foundation sees that as an opportunity to make it another destination for fans flocking to Graceland.
Sue Mack, owner of Mike’s Memphis Tours and a representative of The Circle G Foundation, says the statue project could be a fundraising mechanism. Bricks that would be part of the exhibit could be sold to donors. That would raise money for restoration of the ranch. Mack says the statue could help draw tourism to the Horn Lake area.
“With Graceland just down the street, those people who would want to see it area already in the area,” Mack told Horn Lake Mayor Nat Baker and aldermen this week. “If you put up a statue of him, they will come here to see it.”
Horn Lake officials were receptive to helping find a location for a statue but wanted Mack to check first with Elvis Presley Enterprises to ensure there would be no problems with casting a likeness of Elvis.
“I think all of us would feel better knowing it had their approval,” Baker told Mack.
Mack said Monday organizers were in the process of making the necessary contacts and would get back to Horn Lake officials. She said a sculptor had given a price about $55,000 for the statue, which would take up to nine months to complete if the project ultimately moves forward.