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Circle G Ranch 2002

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Circle G Ranch 2003

  • Elvis resort may be nixed
    (Memphis Business Journal / Associated Press, December 31, 2002)
    The owners of a ranch where a $600 million resort dedicated to Elvis Presley was to be located have dissolved the deal after developers missed two payments, according to an Associated Press report. The McLemore family, owners of the Circle G Ranch, terminated the contract after no payment was made when due the week of Dec. 16, says Gerald McLemore, a spokesman for the family. The ranch is on 155 acres at Goodman Road and state Highway 301 in Horn Lake. The developers missed another payment after that, McLemore says. The agreement required the developers -- a partnership based in Alpharetta, Ga. -- to make $1,000-a-day payments until they closed with a $6.5 million purchase.

  • Landowners dissolve pact with Elvis resort developers
    (Ledger-Enquirer / Associated Press, December 31, 2002)
    HORN LAKE, Miss. - The owners of a ranch where a $600 million resort dedicated to Elvis Presley was to be located have dissolved the deal after developers missed two payments. The McLemore family, owners of the Circle G Ranch, terminated the contract after no payment was made when due the week of Dec. 16, said Gerald McLemore, a spokesman for the family. The ranch is on a 155-acre spread at Goodman Road and Mississippi 301 in Horn Lake. he developers missed another payment after that, McLemore said. The agreement required the developers - a partnership based in Alpharetta, Ga. - to make $1,000-a-day payments until they closed with a $6.5 million purchase. "Our agreement was that they were to make the payments every 10 days," McLemore said. "When they failed to make the payments, the contract ended. Nobody is mad at anybody, and we're still talking, but for right now, we don't have a contract on that property." Circle G Ranch Resort LLC developers allowed an option to buy 317 acres next to the Circle G property to expire in September after missing payments on that agreement. That land is owned by the Hugh Dancy Co. The 317-acre tract, which is east of the original Circle G Ranch land, would have been the site of one of two championship golf courses. Vernon Simpson, vice president for the Dancy company, said Dec. 19 he hadn't heard anything from the developers since the option expired. McLemore said he still hopes the resort will be built.

  • Elvis ranch developer ordered to repay millions to Florida investors
    (Daily Journal, November 21, 2002)
    HORN LAKE -- A Florida court has ordered the developer of the proposed Elvis-themed Circle G Resort and his business associates to pay more than $8 million to satisfy complaints brought by investors. The investments went to a vacation and travel club, Premier Holidays International, that was headed by Daniel DelPiano. David Knight, a Tampa, Fla., attorney, said after the venture failed, the investors discovered that their investments were not covered by insurance as they had been assured. DelPiano is the manager of the Circle G Resort company, which won DeSoto County Board of Supervisors' approval earlier this year to develop a resort on Elvis' former ranch, the Circle G. DelPiano told the DeSoto Times Today newspaper earlier this year that the development would be partially financed by the pre-sale of luxury time-share condominiums at the ranch. Circle G developers hoped to raise from the condo sales about $300 million of the $517 million the resort would cost to develop. ... Marcia Perkins, an investigator with the Florida Department of State Banking and Finance, said last week that she is looking into DelPiano's dealings in Florida and is pursuing leads in at least three other states where DelPiano and his associates have done business. Perkins said she conducted the original inquiry into Premier Holidays International.

  • Elvis deal still not complete as Internet site goes down
    (DeSoto Times, November 8, 2002)
    HORN LAKE - Although the Web site for the Circle G Resort is currently offline, developers of the proposed $600 million Elvis Presley-themed resort insist their project is still on track. The Circle G Resort LLC Web site was taken down recently for maintenance, according to Vickie Burroughs, administrative assistant to Daniel DelPiano, the Georgia businessman who along with his partners is developing the resort. ... Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based Titan Communications Group, the public relations firm hired to represent Circle G Resort, LLC is no longer handling media relations for the company. "Dan (DelPiano) has put them on stand-by," said Burroughs, saying that as the project develops the firm will likely be pressed back into action. Burroughs would not comment Thursday on when the company hopes to close the $6.5 million land deal on the original 155 acres of the ranch. She said DelPiano would have to answer that question and he had just left the building.

    Gerald D. (Buddy) McLemore, son and heir of the late W.F. McLemore, who negotiated the deal with DelPiano in January, said Circle G Resort, LLC developers are paying $1,000 a day for the option to purchase the 155 acres. A check of courthouse records Thursday showed that no land transaction had taken place. ... McLemore remains convinced, however, that the Circle G Resort project will go forward. "Surely they wouldn't be paying this kind of money if they were not interested," McLemore said. "We hope it goes through and I couldn't imagine that it wouldn't."

  • Deed for Circle G Ranch still in hands of McLemore family
    (DeSoto Times, October 23, 2002)
    HORN LAKE - Owners of the former Elvis Presley Ranch declined comment Tuesday as to whether they had finalized a $6.5 million deal with Circle G Resort LLC officials. Oct. 19 was the latest in a series of deadlines in ongoing talks between members of the McLemore family and Circle G Resort officials, who plan to turn the land into an Elvis-themed resort. A check of court records on file at the DeSoto County Chancery Court's Office Tuesday showed that no land transaction between the two parties had been recorded as of 5 p.m.

  • Circle G Resort officials granted another extension
    (DeSoto Times, October 5, 2002)
    HORN LAKE - The developers of the former ranch of Elvis Presley have been granted yet another extension in their ongoing attempt to purchase a $6.5 million tract from the heirs of the late W.F. McLemore. McLemore heir Gerald D. (Buddy) McLemore announced Sept. 19 that Circle G Resort LLC officials could not meet the deadline set for that day, but they would close the land deal within the following two weeks. That self-imposed deadline of Oct. 4 passed with McLemore saying late Friday that Circle G Resort officials have asked for more time to get their finances together to purchase the 155-acres of the original ranch property. They took out an option on the property in January. "It's been extended for another period of time - they got an extension, that's about all I can tell you," McLemore said Friday. "We would have been happier had they closed it (deal) like we thought they would. We're not as happy as we would be." ... The closing cannot be extended past March 19, 2003, records on file at the DeSoto County Chancery Clerk's Office show. That means there is the possibility that no work could begin on the site until next spring at the latest.

  • Circle G officials expected to close deal within two weeks
    (DeSoto Times, September 20, 2002)
    HORN LAKE - The landowner of the original 154-acre Elvis Presley Ranch said Thursday Circle G Resort LLC officials plan to close the deal to purchase the land of the late singer on a $6.5 million contract within two weeks. "We've talked with them today, and they've given us a date of closure," said Gerald D. "Buddy" McLemore, executor of his late father W.F. McLemore's estate. "It's within two weeks." McLemore said under the terms of a real estate sales agreement, Circle G Resort LLC officials were due to pay $250,000 by 5 p.m. Thursday. Circle G Resort LLC officials did not meet that deadline. "They were due to pay $250,000, but we've got it squared away that they can pay it all at one time," McLemore said. "We're happy that they've given us a date of closure to purchase the whole thing. ... The $6.5 million includes the original ranch property. Circle G Ranch developers say they want to renew talks to purchase an adjoining 317-acre tract for development of at least two championship golf courses. A total $600 million hotel and entertainment complex has been proposed. That $600 million development will be financed mainly through pre-sales of $300 million in condo sales on the property, according to Circle G Resort LLC manager Daniel DelPiano. Company officials will not comment on how presale of condominiums are going.

  • Optioned land near Circle G up for sale
    (DeSoto Times, September 10, 2002)
    HORN LAKE - More than 384 acres surrounding the former Elvis Presley Ranch is back up for sale after Circle G Resort LLC officials failed to renew an option with the Hugh Dancy estate. The Dancy property, where the golf courses and portions of the Circle G entertainment complex would be located, was put back for sale this week, according to Vernon Simpson, son-in-law of the late Hugh Dancy. "They didn't fulfill their side of it," Simpson said Monday. "It (option) has run out, so we decided to put it up for sale. We haven't heard a word back from them." Simpson said Circle G Resort LLC, then doing business as EPR Enterprises LLC, gave the Dancy family an undisclosed amount of "up-front money" in order to take the option on the property. "They had it for awhile," Simpson said. "It ran out in August. We gave them a verbal extension from Aug. 6 until Aug. 14. "We were even going to give them until Sept. 1 and waited a little while because of the (Labor Day) holiday," he said. "They let down on their end. We didn't see a check from them and didn't hear from anybody, so we decided to put it back up for sale." Simpson said he is not against the ranch concept despite the failure of Circle G Resort LLC officials to fulfill their obligations towards purchase of the land. "We would still love for that thing to work out," Simpson said. "But, they need to live up to their end of the contract."

  • Golfer Daly helping to design Elvis memorial complex
    (Times of India / Reuters, August 29, 2002)
    Double major champion John Daly is helping to design an Elvis Presley memorial complex in Memphis that will include two golf courses. "We are doing this thing called 'Elvis Presley Ranch' in Memphis. Hopefully we are getting hold of Pete Dye and Tom Fazio to design two courses," Daly, who defends his BMW International title in Germany this week, said on Tuesday. "One will be a water course which Pete is the master at, and the other by Tom will be with trees." Daly, the big-hitting former U.S. PGA and British Open champion, has been employed as a consultant on the complex which will also include a replica 'White House' as well as a studio, concert venue and hotels. "It is really going to be beautiful. This is Elvis's dream ranch," the American said.

  • Circle G closing date extended
    (DeSoto Times, August 27, 2002)
    Under terms of a real estate extension and modification agreement in probate records of the late W.F. McLemore that were made public Tuesday, the new closing deadline for the $6.5 million sale of the former Elvis Presley Ranch is set for Oct. 19. However, under terms of the agreement, Circle G Resort LLC officials are entitled to up to five additional monthly extensions of the closing deadline. The closing cannot be extended past March 19, 2003, records on file at the DeSoto County Chancery Clerk's Office show. That means there is the possibility that no work could begin on the site until next spring. In fact, a provision in the agreement forbids any excavation on the ranch property before the property is sold and makes a reference to the Aug. 15 ceremonial event at the ranch site held by Circle G Resort officials. "Such groundbreaking shall be strictly ceremonial in nature," the terms of the agreement reads. "Purchaser is not authorized to undertake any excavation, construction or other activity upon the property, except for ceremonial groundbreaking."

  • Circle G developers ask for more time to purchase land: Officials shut down Web site offering dirt from Elvis Ranch
    (DeSoto Times, August 23, 2002)
    If you want dirt from the Circle G Ranch you could buy it online - that is until Tuesday when the Web site address was taken down for a little revamping. On Wednesday, Ginger Morris, with the Titan Network in Atlanta, the public relations firm for EPR Enterprises which has launched the $600 million Circle G Ranch project, said that topsoil from the ranch where Elvis and wife Priscilla honeymooned in 1967 was available as part of a souvenir package. "You can buy topsoil from the ranch itself," Morris said, acknowledging that the idea of giving interested fans a little piece of the ranch has been used in other places. "A perfect example of that would be the Berlin Wall." Morris called back later that same day to say that the topsoil from the ranch wasn't really available after all. A souvenir package listing its sale among other items was all part of a web site "marketing test." "If you had gone online you wouldn't have been able to purchase anything," she said. Morris said she hoped the web site would soon be back up and running. "We have had very positive feedback," Morris said. However, it's been a series of flip-flops in recent weeks regarding the ranch development. Nevada-based EPR Enter-prises, LLC, still does not own the land where they hope to build the Elvis-themed resort. They continue to pay an elderly DeSoto County widow $10,000 a month for an option on the ranch property. EPR failed to meet a June 16 deadline in which the company was to pay $6 million to Mrs. Colleen McLemore, widow of the recently deceased landowner W. F. McLemore for the original ranch site of 155 acres. On Thursday McLemore said EPR Enterprises had asked for an extension until Sept. 19.

  • When Graceland isn't Graceland
    By Duncan Bartlett
    (BBC, August 16, 2002)
    Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee is the focus of all Elvis fans at the 25th anniversary of his death, and where they flocked for a candlelit vigil to commemorate the King of Rock'n'Roll. But plans to build a huge rival Elvis theme park a short distance away have infuriated Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company that oversees the star's estate.

  • All shook up over Elvis ranch plans
    (New York Daily News, August 5, 2002)
    The 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's ascension into heaven is next week, and few people are more excited than Atlanta developer J.D. Stacy. Stacy has a dream. He wants to give everyone a chance to play the King. He and his investment group are in talks to buy the 155-acre Elvis Presley Ranch in Horn Lake, Miss., from the estate of the late supermarket kingpin William Floyd McLemore. Elvis and Priscilla spent part of their honeymoon at the ranch, just fifteen minutes from Graceland in Memphis. And it's where Elvis and his crew rode horses, barbecued and made music. Stacy's group, which also holds options to buy another 647 acres around the ranch, envisions a $517 million Presley-inspired resort There'd be a convention center, where Elvis' flock could gather. There'd be a track where guests could race go-carts, just like Elvis did. There'd even be 179 honeymoon cottages, decorated by Elvis' cousin Donna Presley. But Lisa Marie Presley and executives who run Elvis Presley Enterprises aren't ready to let Stacy's group take care of business. "We have no intention to issue any licenses," EPE President Jack Soden tells us. "Lisa wouldn't be involved in this." Stacy argues that his group has the right to call the spread "Circle G Resort: Home of the Elvis Presley Ranch," because "Elvis had once lived on the land," according to a rep for Stacy. Soden calls that argument "questionable," but says EPE won't take legal action until Stacy's plans firm up. "We're not doing anything that infringes on the trademark," insists Stacy, who is pushing ahead with his plan to open the resort by 2004. Next Thursday, he's scheduled a kickoff party for the project, where he'll serve the King's favorite - fried-banana-and-peanut-butter sandwiches.

  • Elvis Ranch Developers Face Hurdle
    (Yahoo News, July 30, 2002)
    If the developers of the Elvis Presley Ranch to leap several legal hurdles pretty quickly. The developers want to build a $500 million resort and entertainment complex on 800 acres near Horn Lake, Miss. - part of it on land once owned by Elvis. The DeSoto County, Miss. planning director says the developers still haven't gotten approval on the final site, which means the county can't issue a building permit. But a spokeswoman for the developers insists they will break ground on the 25th anniversary of Presley's passing. She says the ground-breaking will be ceremonial, and zoning regulations aren't a problem for "a bunch of people sticking shovels in the ground and tossing small amounts of dirt in the air."

  • Elvis: it's a run for the money: Elvis's estate is all shook up over theme-park proposal
    By Andrew Buncombe
    (Canberra Times, Panorama section, June 15, 2002, p. 1, 8-9)
    Discusses redevelopment proposals for the Circle G Ranch, once owned by Elvis Presley. Under a $US500 ($A950) million plan put forward by J.D. Stacy, a 72-year old tycoon and property developer from Atlanta, Georgia, the Circle G Ranch is to be transformed into an Elvis theme park and convention centre that will feature an 18-hole gold course, holdiay homes, luxury apartments and a museum featuring the world's largest collection of Elvis memorabilia. Elsewhere there will be restaurants, three chapels, a cinema and scaled re-creations of the White House and Graceland. Fans will also be able to croon in a special studio and make their own recordings - in much the same way as Elvis did when he paid just $4 to record My Happiness at the Sun Records studios in 1953. ... But there are some who are not so delighted. ... Just 16km down the road are the great, gaudy gates of Graceland, the world's best-known - probably, most lucrative - pop-pilgrimage destination. And those who rule Graceland are far from happy at the prospect of a rival setting up shop next door. ... It has now got to the point where Elvis's estate has threatened Stacy and the theme park developers with legal action should they use the name Elvis Presley in any form.

    ... Last month,the Circle G project overcame objections about potential traffic congestion to obtain the necessary planning permission from the DeSoto County Planning Commission. Now the dispute is focusing on the new project's name. The developers plan to call their attraction the Circle G Resort: Home of the Elvis Presley Ranch. Stacy's team is convinced it has the law on its side. "We had a meeting with the EPE people and we understand our rights." ... [Local residents] have some concerns about the noise and disruption to their quiet community ... Having obtained planning permission, [the] company now intends to hold its ground-breaking ceremony at the site this summer on August 16.

  • Developers working on final design of proposed Elvis theme park
    (DeSoto Times, May 22, 2002)
    It's less than eight weeks until Georgia developers plan to break ground on a half-billion-dollar Elvis theme park near Horn Lake. Developers want maximum exposure for their endeavor and that's the reason they picked Aug. 16 - the date of the legendary singer's death - as the date for bulldozers to begin work on the site. Yet, so far the site remains unchanged as it has for most of the last 40 years. Presley's horse stable is sagging and the fence which used to surround his corral is in need of a fresh coat of paint. The Circle G Resort, which includes the 155-acre ranch once owned by Elvis Presley, is planned for an 808-acre site at Goodman Road and Highway 301. The Board of Supervisors approved the preliminary plan for the resort in April. "The groundbreaking is set for Aug. 15 and then we'll begin work on the welcome center. That's our first goal," said Ginger Morris of Titan Network in Atlanta which is handling publicity for the enterprise. ... The development was first announced in February as the Elvis Presley Ranch Resort. The use of the late entertainer's name drew strong criticism from Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis which runs Graceland and holds the rights to the Elvis name and image. The developers later changed the name to avoid legal problems. Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, said the company is taking a wait and see attitude about the actual development of the theme park. "Right now we're just up here running our business," he said. "But obviously we will protect our trademarks and intellectual properties, just as we have always done."

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