Owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises Takes $$ Hit

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Robert Sillerman, whose company bought an 85-percent share of Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2004 and plans to improve the Whitehaven area, has had a big financial setback on a Caribbean island hotel development, according to a front-page story in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

Sillerman's plans to develop the area around Graceland have been stalled since they were announced shortly after acquisition by Sillerman's CKx company.

Robert Lipscomb, head of the Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, said he had not heard anything from Sillerman that would make him think the plans for Graceland's surroundings have changed.

"The last thing we heard was that he was pulling away from Las Vegas and putting more emphasis on Graceland," Lipscomb said. The project is dependent on establishment of a tax-increment financing district (TIF).

The Wall Street Journal reported that Sillerman could lose $180 million on a hotel project in Anguilla and is in default on a $475 mortgage for casino hotel in Las Vegas. A Cirque du Soleil production, "Viva ELVIS," is scheduled to be unveiled December 15th at a Las Vegas casino, with Sillerman and Priscilla Presley attending. The unveiling was postponed in November and reset.

Sillerman told the newspaper he "exhibited an element of hubris" by getting into resort development, which is not his area of expertise. Sillerman owns the television franchise "American Idol."

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