Graceland and the Heartbreak Hotel need facelifts…

June 17, 2011

Despite having some of the most popular entertainment brands out there — American Idol and So You Think You can Dance — investors in CKX (CKXE) haven’t exactly benefited from that massive popularity over the past few years. The only reason the stock has bounced up recently was its announcement last month that it has received an offer from an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Global Management at $5.50 a share.

Because CKX is something of a frequent-flyer here at footnoted (for new readers to footnoted that’s never a good thing), we tend to pay close attention to their filings and this exhibit that was attached to an 8-K that they filed yesterday certainly caught our attention, especially when it came to some of the disclosures about Elvis Presley, whose assets account for 21% of CKX’s revenues.

Among the things we learned from the filing are that more than 4 million people “like” Elvis on Facebook, despite the fact that Elvis has been dead for nearly 34 years — several years before Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was even born. We also learned that over 500,000 people a year visit Graceland and at least some of those folks wind up across the street at the Heartbreak Hotel, where apparently you can have Elvis “rock you to sleep” (the thought of which sounds more than a bit creepy to us — or at least a bit campy).

But alas, all is not well at Graceland and the Heartbreak Hotel. Here’s how the filing puts it:

In addition, the Graceland attraction was opened to the public in the 1980s and lacks many of the amenities and points-of-sale that one would expect from a tourist destination that garners over 500,000 visitors per annum. We see an opportunity to renovate the Graceland visitor experience as well as the adjacent Heartbreak Hotel.

People on Tripadvisor weren’t quite as kind as the attorneys who prepared the filing. A quick scan of recent reviews shows that while some people clearly enjoy sleeping with the King, many others do not, including Nattyjane from Britain, who described her visit to the Heartbreak Hotel as “extremely disappointing” adding:

The rooms need a lot of maintenance. In my parents room, the toilet was not secured to the wall properly and in my room the hairdryer was hanging off the bathroom wall with exposed wires & the TV didn’t work. The windows were also filthy!

Other reviews were equally biting, which means that our plans to spend July Fourth weekend in the “Burning Love” suite will just have to wait until the renovations are completed.

Image source: The Burning Love Suite on Tripadvisor

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