Conversations with Missy: Keith Hess- The Guest House at Graceland

by Missy Wolf / 2387 days ago / Comments

Elvis is the one name that almost every generation knows. He is the one man that is bigger today (40 years after his passing) than he was while still alive. Affectionately called "The King", Elvis left an insurmountable impression on fans that still remains powerful today. 

After his untimely passing at the young age of 42, fans were distraught. Stories began swirling and devastated fans could not process that the man they loved so much would not be returning to any stages, nor would his face grace the silver screen again. Broken hearted and confused, many had an extremely tough time with the news.

 With the burden of Graceland in Elvis' estate after his death, Priscilla secured an investment of $500,000 to open Graceland to the public for tours. That decision proved to be a success, selling out all 3,024 tickets day one on June 7, 1982. After nearly 35 years since the opening of Graceland, The Guest House at Graceland opened for business. Inspired by the hospitality that Elvis always showed his guests, the decision was made to construct this brilliant hotel while maintaining the vision that Elvis would have had. This hotel is the biggest hotel project that Memphis has seen in the last 90 years.

To learn more about The Guest House, I sat down with Vice President and Managing Director, Keith Hess. Hess described his job and the role that it played in the construction of this magnificent hotel. With the bright and vivid decor, combined with unique to Elvis' style furniture, one could only assume that Priscilla Presley had a hand in the design plans. Watch our conversation now to learn more about her involvement in this exquisite addition to Graceland.

Just steps from the gates of Graceland, The Guest House serves as the perfect place for Elvis fans to gather, remember, share, and learn more about the legend that changed the face of music in the 1950's. As Hess and I continued our conversation about this special hotel and what it offers fans, we could not help but talk about some of the unique food choices available at the Guest House food establishments.  

Bringing in an Executive Chef from Washington DC, Hess wanted to give fans and guests the highest quality food options that the "King of Rock and Roll" himself would love. The Memphis Burger is the one menu item that stood out to me the most as it contains scrumptious fried green tomatoes, bacon, cheese, special ingredient blended beef blend (watch the video to see), lettuce and special sauce. Tommy, on the other hand, went with the Delta Burger which is, Special ingredient blended beef, American cheese, fried onions, brioche bun, and special sauce. The food was amazing and I could have eaten the entire menu. 

Offering guests superb entertainment is also one of the focuses here at The Guest House. Their beautiful theater accommodates 464 fans and provides fantastic sound for both the performers and guests. Excited about the upcoming night's performance featuring TG Sheppard and Kelly Lang, I could not wait to experience the feel of being in such an intimate venue that no doubt would have made Elvis himself smile. The concert was excellent. The lights, the sound, and the comfort of the seating within the theater were very well thought out and perfectly executed. Overall, this experience exceeded all of my expectations and I could not be happier. 

I encourage all Elvis fans to book your trip now. Get connected with other fans, shop at the newly built gift shops, explore Graceland, and try some of the most delectable food available. I am already planning my next trip and hope to see you there too. ~Missy



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About Missy Wolf

Missy Wolf Co-Founder, Editor, Journalist & Vice President of the American Country Music Association

From an early age I knew music and entertainment were in my blood. I have always been enamored with the idea of being in this industry, though I never wanted to be a front and center "Star". Taking the audience behind the scenes for up close conversations with the artists they love is where I want to be. Life in lyrics has always been my style, so as my favorite country artist Wade Hayes sings, I am living my life and chasing my dreams! Conducting interviews, meeting talented people and sharing stories and adventure are my passion. My new favorite hashtag is #iaskyouanswer, so stay tuned for more interviews, articles and adventures!