Originally Posted by vivelafrance
I think Gatlinburg, Chattanooga, and Nashville would disagree.
Memphis is important to TN Tourism but it in no way "dominates."
... Memphis was not on the list.
Memphis would disagree too.
Beale Street hits record revenue level
Memphis Business Journal - by Andy Ashby
Photo Credit : LEE SWETS | MBJ
Although Performa Entertainment Real Estate, Inc., had a 2009 marked by lawsuits and other challenges, the company managed to lead the state’s No. 1 tourist attraction to record revenues with extensive plans for the upcoming year. Beale Street generated $31.8 million in sales for full-year 2009, up 3.2% compared to $30.8 million in 2008, according to Performa, which led the redevelopment of the street and handles leasing and management of the buildings. The company estimates 2009 sales generated $2.2 million in state sales tax and $715,549 in city and county taxes, not counting liquor sales taxes.
In February 2009, the city of Memphis filed a lawsuit against Performa, citing underreported income. The city used Philadelphia-based accounting firm Parente Randolf LLC , now operating as ParenteBeard LLC, to perform an audit, which was prepared by partner Paul Pocalyko. “This litigation has been a waste of time, effort and money,” says John Elkington, CEO of Performa. “We’ve been good stewards of Beale Street.” Performa hired Memphis-based Watkins Uiberall PLLC to do its own audit of Beale Street’s finances. “I have found no misappropriation of funds received by Performa or expenditures of funds related to the leased premises that were not permitted under the lease or Performa’s subleases with its tenants,” William H. Watkins Jr. wrote in the report. “The records indicate there were accounting errors, some of which were favorable and some unfavorable to Performa.” Pocalyko was asked to prepare a forensic audit for Jan. 1, 2002, through Dec. 31, 2008, for the city of Memphis. “The Pocalyko report does not reflect misappropriation of funds received nor expenditures made by Performa related to the leased premises, the lease and subleases,” Watkins said in his report. “All the receipts and expenditures are clearly reflected on the books and records of Performa’s financial records.” City attorney Herman Morris wouldn’t comment extensively on the suit. “It’s pending litigation and it’s moving on course to resolution by a trial date that’s in the not too distant future,” he says. “We’ve got very able council representing us in the matter.” Attornies Michael Fletcher, Jill Madajczyk, and Van Turner are representing the city. Elkington says Performa sends an annual report to the city every year and plans to make it available online. “They’ve created this tremendously false impression that we were hiding things and that we were not open about things, when in fact we’re the opposite of that,” he says. “This year, we have to show people that.”
The city owns all the buildings in the district except for the ones housing B.B. King’s and Club 152, according to Performa. Performa has a 50-year agreement with the city to develop and manage the district. The agreement was signed in 1982. While continuing to fight this lawsuit, Performa is moving forward with its plans for Beale Street this year. Most of the changes will be on Beale Street properties between Rufus Thomas and Fourth Street. Hard Rock Cafe at 315 Beale, People’s Billiard Club at 323 Beale and Eel-Etc. at 333 Beale all renewed leases this year.
The Ernest C. Withers Trust and Performa are moving forward with plans to develop a 7,000-square-foot museum and gallery dedicated to the famous Memphian’s photography this year. The gallery at 333 Beale is slated to open in April with the museum opening later in the year. Red Rooster Bar and Music Hall has signed a lease for 6,727 square feet at 340 Beale Street, formerly the Double Deuce.
The second most visited address in the U.S.
Elvis royalties rocket up by 34.6 percent
Memphis Business Journal - by Jane A. Donahoe
Photo Credit : COURTESY ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES
Elvis may have left the building, but his star power is still growing. Elvis Presley Enterprises parent company CKx Inc. released its annual report Tuesday, which showed a 34.6 percent increase in Presley royalties and licensing revenue. The Presley business segment of CKx brought in $24.473 million in royalties and licensing revenue in 2009, compared to $18.186 million in 2008. Attendance at Elvis’ Memphis home was also up in 2009. 542,728 people went to Graceland in 2009, a 1.2 percent increase compared to 536,196 in 2008. Revenue from Graceland’s operations fell slightly to $36.124 million in 2009, a 1.6 percent drop compared to $36.713 million in 2008.
CKx also noted in the report that its planned, $250 million redevelopment initiative for Graceland and the surrounding area would need some retooling. It has been short on specifics for its redevelopment plan since it began acquiring land surrounding the deceased star's Whitehaven mansion. “The company has determined that there is a strong likelihood that the original preliminary design plans may require significant modifications or abandonment for a redesign due to the current economic conditions and a lack of certainty as to exact scope, cost, financing plan and timing of this project,” according to the report. Another wrinkle in the redevelopment effort is the terminated relationship between CKx and FX Real Estate and Entertainment Inc. The two companies entered into an agreement in 2007 that would grant FXRE the exclusive right to own, develop and operate Elvis-themed hotels, casinos and other real estate-based projects. The relationship officially dissolved in March 2009 when FXRE failed to make its annual $10 million guaranteed royalty payment, according to CKx’s report.
FXRE originally was set to develop one or more hotels at Graceland as a piece of the redevelopment project. CKx wrote off $900,000 in deferred costs related to preliminary design work for the redevelopment, but also said it “remains committed to the Graceland redevelopment and will continue to pursue opportunities on its own or with third parties.” CKx, through a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, recently opened a permanent live theatrical show based on the life, times and music of Elvis. The show, presented at the new Aria Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas strip, opened performances in February. New York-based CKx (NYSE: CKXE) maintains an 85 percent ownership in Elvis Presley Enterprises.
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The MEMPHIS ZOO is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. This includes Giant Pandas, being 1 of only 4 zoos in the nation to have them. Created in April 1906, the zoo has been a major tenant of Overton Park for more than 100 years. In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was ranked "#1 Zoo in the U.S." by TripAdvisor.com. Since the early 1990s, the Memphis Zoo has invested over $80 million for renovation and expansion, making it one of the finest zoological parks in the nation.
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Teton Trek- Four acre exhibit featuring grizzlies, timber wolves, elk and trumpeter swans. Scheduled to open in fall of 2009.
Zambezi River Hippo Camp- A new home for the Zoo's hippos. Also featuring Nile crocs, okapi and flamingos.
Chickasaw Bluffs- Concept exhibit that weaves a boardwalk trail through 17 acres of forest land.
The Tunica Resorts is now the third largest gaming market in the United States, after Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Its booming effect on the local economy has spurred population growth in unincorporated parts of the county outside Tunica proper.
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The Gold Strike Casino Resort
Its 31 story hotel tower was previously the tallest building in the state of Mississippi, but has since been surpassed by 1 or 2 projects on the Gulf Coast. The hotel tower offers 1,160 guest rooms overlooking the Mississippi River. According to property officials, its newly renovated 10,000-square-foot ballroom can accommodate 650 people, banquet style, or more than 1,000 people, theater style.
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Harrah's Casino & Resort Tunica
In October 2007, Harrah's officials announced that Grand Casino Tunica would undergo a $45 million renovation of its hotels and casinos, which included the resort being renamed Harrah's Casino Tunica.
The largest casino between Las Vegas and Atlantic City, offering 140,000 square feet of gaming area. 60 exciting table games, more than 2,000 slots, one of the South's largest poker rooms. Three luxurious hotel towers, A world class 45,000 square ft Convention Center, 2300-seat State-of-the-art event and entertainment center, RV resort, Bellissimo - a full-service spa and salon, The Links at Cottonwoods, our Hale Irwin-designed golf course, Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center, Three outdoor pools, One indoor pool, Tennis courts, A variety of great restaurants, Mid-South Business Center, Paula Deen themed suites and more.
Sam’s Town, one of Tunica’s largest casino properties, encompassing 1.5 million square feet on 272 acres. In January 2008, the hotel is set to undergo a $9.2 million renovation of 365 of its 850 guest rooms and suites.
Tunica Air Center Executive Terminal @ Tunica Municipal Airport
The new Tunica Air Center FBO is an executive facility with over 11,000 square feet of terminal space. This world class facility includes first class amenities to support businesses and gaming tourism. In 2003, Tunica County opened a 7,000-foot expanded runway and new Corporate Air Center at Tunica Airport (UTA). Installation of ICS/MALRS, PAPI and AWOS was completed in 2004. A canopy at the corporate air terminal provides for easy access inside the terminal. Air traffic control tower, hangars (private and corporate), commercial apron concrete - 320,000 square feet, commercial terminal, and expansion of the runway to 8,500 feet are some of the improvements completed in 2005. Developed primarily as a charter airport, Tunica Airport expects to become a first-class regional airport providing cargo and scheduled passenger service.
Memphis International Airport is located 30 miles north of Tunica. It boasts nine major airlines, three commuter airlines and 300-plus daily passenger flights. The Memphis International Airport is ranked as the number one cargo airport in the world as it is the home of the Federal Express Super Hub, a major United Parcel Service hub, NWA, RPS and Emory sort facilities. Daily direct flights to Amsterdam are available on KLM.
Tunica Airport hosted the Tunica Air Races in June 2005. This event is only the second location in the U.S. and east of the Mississippi River allowed to race airplanes.
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