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DESTINATION USA (Again) 

 

Tuesday 6th January – Saturday 17th January 2015

 

The demand for our Destination USA again Elvis’ 80th Birthday trip to Memphis, Tupelo & Las Vegas has been so successful that we have sold out of our launch price places, however we have done a special deal where for the next month – if you book before the 31st October you can enjoy these special prices – up to £500 cheaper than trips you may see advertised elsewhere. So here are the details – but you MUST book now. Our bargain prices if you book BEFORE 31st October are now: 

 

MEMPHIS & LAS VEGAS : £1799 per person (twin / double share). Single supplement: £399

 

MEMPHIS ONLY £1,599 per person (twin / double share)

 

ITINERARY

 

Day 1 (Tuesday 6th January)  Morning departure from London Heathrow for our flight (via a ‘gateway city’) to Memphis, Tennessee, followed by the coach transfer to Doubletree Hotel in the city centre. Evening free to relax or explore.

 

Day 2 to Day 6 Five full days to enjoy the sights and sounds of Memphis. You will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Elvis’ Memphis including visits to Sun Studio the ‘Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ where Elvis did his first recording, as well as Lauderdale Courts, where he lived with his parents in his teens. Also included is lunch at the Arcade Restaurant, one of Elvis’ favourite restaurants plus lots of other fascinating sights including the school that he attended, where he performed, shopped, prayed and played. Our tour also takes in many of the ‘tourist sights’ of Memphis such as the Mississippi River and the paddle wheeler riverboats, the FedEx Forum, Beale Street, the Pyramid and lots more besides. You will also receive a Platinum Pass to Graceland.

 

On January 8 (Thursday) we transfer to the lawn of Graceland to hear the Elvis Presley Day Proclamation given at Graceland by the Mayors of Memphis and Shelby County to mark Elvis’ Birthday and to enjoy the amusing speeches (as well as coffee and birthday cake!). Then it’s off to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley to see the humble home in which he was born, to visit the museum dedicated to him, to sit in the First Assembly of God church where Elvis first sang, and to enjoy an amazing audio-visual presentation that helps bring all this alive. We also take you on a tour of this wonderfully friendly little city – stopping at the school that Elvis attended and Tupelo Hardware where his first guitar was bought. With plenty to see and hear, it’s a great way to commemorate Elvis’ birthday. We return to Memphis in the early evening.

 

During your time in Memphis you will have ample time to explore downtown Memphis using the Shuttle Bus Service. Visit such fascinating museums as the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Stax Museum, the Cotton Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum amongst many others. Take a stroll along the banks of the mighty Mississippi, or watch the Duck Parade in the fabulously ornate lobby of the renowned Peabody Hotel. Not to be missed is the Gibson Guitar Factory, where you see how they are made and hear them played. Time too to take the free early morning walk-up to Meditation Garden at Graceland, and to visit the many other attractions at Elvis Presley Plaza including going on board Elvis’ aircraft and visiting Elvis’ Auto Museum. By night there’s a wonderful choice of restaurants and bars to visit – especially on Beale Street where music emanates from every doorway. Our special Shuttle Bus, exclusive to our group, runs throughout your stay in Memphis between Graceland and downtown. The Shuttle will operate throughout the day and late into the evenings. The cost of the Shuttle Service is included in the holiday price – saving you a small fortune in taxi fares.

 

Day 7 Today we fly from Memphis to Las Vegas and transfer to the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), to enjoy staying in the very hotel that Elvis stayed in all those years ago.

 

Day 8 to Day 10 Three full days(and 4 nights!) in Las Vegas with time to explore and enjoy all that this famous city in the desert has to offer. We will be offering a range of optional excursions during your stay and full details will be sent to participants.

 

Day 11 Transfer to Las Vegas Airport for the flights back to the UK.

 

Day 12 Arrive back into London Heathrow.

 

Included: Economy class flights London – Memphis, Memphis - Las Vegas and Las Vegas – London: 6 nights’ accommodation at the Doubletree by Hilton, Memphis (room only); 4 nights’ accommodation at the LVH, Las Vegas (room only) Sightseeing tour of Memphis; Sightseeing tour of Tupelo; shuttle bus service in Memphis; Transfers and coach travel as per the itinerary; Admission to Sun Studio, Lauderdale Court and Elvis Birthplace; Graceland Platinum Pass; All airport taxes and charges The services of an experienced tour manager Not included; Drinks, meals, travel insurance, optional excursions and items of a personal nature.

 

Travel with us any you will be treated like Royalty

 

 

 

YOUR HOTELS

 

Doubletree  Hotel, Memphis: Stay in the heart of Memphis at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Memphis Downtown. This lovely hotel is within walking distance to many downtown Memphis attractions, including Beale Street Entertainment District, across the road is the internationally famous Rendezvous Restaurant (host the Princes, Pop Stars, Prime Ministers, Princesses, Presidents & The Presleys); Rock 'n Soul Museum, Sun Studios, National Civil Rights Museum and FedEx Forum and Memphis Cook Convention Centre. Begin your Memphis visit with a freshly baked Doubletree chocolate chip cookie before settling in to your comfortable guest room or suite. All 280 guest rooms and suites boast complimentary WiFi access. Gather with friends in relaxed surroundings at T.G.I. Friday's, located at the hotel.

 

LVH, Las Vegas (formerly the International Hotel / Las Vegas Hilton) Experience the finest amenities, offerings, and excitement at the legendary LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino; the iconic place to stay and play in the electrifying city of Las Vegas. Conveniently located just one block from the famed Las Vegas Strip and immediately adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Centre, this world-class hotel casino offers a unique blend of excitement with incredible restaurants, endless Las Vegas entertainment, and the world's largest horse racing betting shop. Among off Strip hotels, the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino boasts the most alluring variety of rooms in a relaxing atmosphere, while still maintaining easy access via the Las Vegas Monorail to the excitement of the Strip, just one block away.  The en suite Classic Rooms offer thoughtful amenities such as ultra-soft bedding, 37" plasma TVs, Keurig coffee makers, high-speed Internet access (for a fee), and great views. 

 

DESTINATION USA - Again

Send £350.00 deposit per person made payable to "Arena Travel" to: Destination USA (Again), Arena Travel, Explorer House, , 2 Betts Avenue, Marlesham Heath, IPSWICH IP5 3RH

 

 

ELVIS PARTY WEEKEND IN BLACKPOOL

 

Friday 7th, Saturday 8th& Sunday 9th August 2015 

 

THAT’S ALL RIGHT Again

Now is the time to book our three day ELVIS PRESLEY “That’s All Right – again” party thrash at Tiffany’s Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool. Next year we are taking over the entire Tiffany’s complex – all three function rooms including the magnificent main stage overlooking the wild Irish Sea. This this event is going to be truly wild with fantastic disco and cabaret –three days and nights of wonderful entertainment and accommodation prices which cannot be beaten.

 

Arrive Friday 7th August and depart after breakfast on Sunday 9th August

 

Your TWO night stay  Friday & Saturday) including full English Breakfast, and a delicious FIVE course evening meal on each night based on two persons sharing a twin or double bedded room will be just £89.00 per person. (There is an additional special rate if you want to extend your stay at Tiffany’s  on Sunday night for an additional £25.00 per person per additional night and take in the magic of Blackpool after our Party weekend.)

 

RESERVE YOUR ACCOMMODATION PACKAGE NOW with just a £20.00 deposit. Call 01253 313414

 

We are working on our entertainment package now, but tickets will not be on sale until we have finalised our guests. However it is important that you reserve your accommodation now. So many people were disappointed last year, so phone up now to hold your rooms with just £20.00 per person deposit, and let’s make Blackpool 2015 even better! Remember you will be guaranteed to be able to buy your entertainment package tickets as soon as you book.

 

CALL TIFFANY’S RESERVATIONS ON 01243 313414

 

 

 

ELVIS PRESLEY AIRWAYS – WHAT’S HAPPENING AT GRACELAND???

 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. On April 17, 1975 Elvis bought a Convair 880 Jet, recently taken out of service by Delta Airlines, for the then-substantial sum of $250,000. After refurbishing, the total exceeded $600,000. He immediately rechristened it the Lisa Marie. Earlier Elvis had paid a $75,000 deposit on a Boeing 707 but the deal fell through. The previous owner had been Robert Vesco, the fugitive financier who had fled to South America after allegedly embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars from international investment firms. Buying his plane would involve some complicated wrangling with the IRS. And Elvis was warned about another complication: If the plane ever landed in any of the countries Vesco was establishing a base in, there was every reason to believe that he might try to seize it.The Convair 880had a clean record and would have no problem flying to any country around the world

The plane was in a hangar at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, and for months Elvis took great pleasure in flying friends out to check on progress as the interior of the plane was refurbished to his very specific design requirements (he bought another plane to make those trips - a smaller Lockheed JetStar). Elvis wanted a seating area, a conference room, and a private bedroom on the plane (with space for an in-flight reading library). He picked fabrics, decided on color schemes, chose the on-board audio-visual system, and even Ok'd the gold fixtures in the bathrooms.

Elvis was especially excited about the fact that the same design team had previously customized Air Force One. The craft slowly came together as an airworthy mix of modem function and Graceland elegance.Close in size to a 707, the Lisa Marie was customized with plush sleeping quarters, a penthouse bedroom with a custom-made queen size bed, an executive bathroom with gold faucets and a gold washbasin, a videotape system linked to four TVs and a stereo system with fifty-two speakers, and a conference room finished in teak. When refurbished it could hold a maximum of 29 people, but usually there would be about eight or 10. When the final paint job was applied to the exterior, there was a prominent 'TCB' logo on the tail.

April 17, Elvis buys an ex Delta Airlines Convair 880 Jet for $250,000.

July, While on tour, Elvis decided to present the Colonel with his own airplane, a Grumman Gulfstream G-1, which he bought sight unseen. Elvis had it delivered to the Colonel in Vegas on July 26, but the Colonel didn't really take it the way that Elvis had hoped. 'You've got to be kidding', was his first response. And then he turned it down on the grounds that he didn't need a plane and couldn't afford one.

August 3, Elvis leases a Fairchild F-27 aircraft at $13,000 a month.

August 7, Arrangements are made for Linda Thompson and her friend, Jeannie LeMay, to fly with Elvis' chow, Getlow, to Boston, so that the dog can receive treatment for a kidney ailment.When the dog is too ill to travel on to the West Boylston veterinary hospital where it is scheduled to be treated, the whole party remains at the Ritz for two days before continuing.

August 15, Elvis cancels the lease on the Fairchild F-27 and buys an Aero Jet Commander for $508,000.

August 27, Elvis enters into an agreement with Omni Aircraft Sales, who will sell the Gulfstream G-1 and Jet Commander that he purchased two weeks earlier.

September 2, Elvis buys a Lockheed JetStar aircraft for $900,000

October 8, Milo High, Elvis' personal pilot takes Elvis and five others on a brief one-hour flight in Elvis newly purchased Lockheed JetStar aircraft.

October 9, Milo High flies Elvis and eight others to Dallas and back.

October 21, Milo High flies Elvis' aunt, Delta Biggs, and Mike McGregor to Boston to pick up Elvis' chow, Getlow.

.November 10, The Lisa Marie is delivered to Memphis late in the evening, joining the JetStar and a 1966 Dessault-Falcon, which Elvis has bought for an investment.

 

Above, The Lisa Marie, the newest craft in Elvis Presley's small air fleet, at Memphis International Airport on November 12, 1975, getting final touches before being put to use. Beside it is the Jetstar

November 27, Ron Strauss takes Elvis on his first real flight in The Lisa Marie, travelling Las Vegas.

 

December 25, In the evening Elvis takes everyone up in The Lisa Marie.

July 13, 1976 - Elvis trades the Dessault-Falcon airplane, which he purchased in late 1975 as an investnent, for a second Lockheed JetStar. The first JetStar aircraft will become the center of a long, drawn-out FBI investigation into what appears to be a sophisticated swindle perpetrated on Elvis and Vernon involving the leasing and refurbishing of the aircraft. The case is not concluded until after Elvis' death.


June 29, 1976 - Elvis and Linda Thompson have just arrived in Richmond, Va

Elwood David was the Captain and pilot of The Lisa Marie. Accompanying him in the cockpit was another pilot, Ron Strauss, and a flight engineer, Jim Manny. Milo High was the pilot of Elvis' 'Hound Dog II' JetStar plane.

After Elvis' death, Captain Elwood Davidflew to California to pick up Elvis' ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie and the actor George Hamilton, a long-time friend of Elvis. He flew them back to California after the funeral, and, in what would be his last flight on the Lisa Marie, returned the plane to Memphis.Elvis' father, Vernon, sold the plane in 1978 and it changed hands a couple of times. When Graceland opened up to the public in 1982, EPE worked with the owners to try and bring the plane home to Memphis. In 1984, the Lisa Marie was returned to Graceland. It has remained as one of the most popular attractions ever since.


Elvis Presley Enterprises worked with the owners to bring the Lisa Marie plane home to Memphis in 1984.

Now the two private airplanes that belonged to Elvis Presley are now on sale and could disappear by 2015 from Elvis’ Graceland mansion, where they have been on display for the last 30 years.The Lisa Marie, a 1960 Convair 880 named after Elvis's only daughter, is a four-engine airplane with a private bedroom, a stereo system and a bathroom with gold fittings. Hound Dog II, a JetStar, was used as a substitute aircraft while the Lisa Marie was being remodeled to suit the likings of the King. The airplanes' owner, K.G. Coker, who acquired them in 1977 after Presley's death, said "they are museum pieces" and expresses a willingness to hear any serious offers, though he has avoided setting a price. Up to now the planes have been two of the most visited items at the Elvis Presley mansion in Memphis.

From what we know, the owners of the two aeroplanescharge Graceland an annual fee to rent them, and there is talk that they also wanted a share of the admission fees. Therefore one must conclude that the end of the current leasing period the owners might decide to remove them. As neither Graceland(EPE) or Elvis’ family own the ‘planes, the decision whether they stay on Elvis Presley Boulevard, or not, is out of their hands.

It would be illegal to try to fly them as they would never get an air-worthy certificate, and impossible to do so as they don’t have any engines. The cost of moving them over-land would be astronomical, so what will happen next?

 

We are thrilled to announce our co-operation with the finest Elvis news site, and its founder and editor  Mr Lex Raaphorst. Take a look at their fantastic site today. Go to www.elvisnews.com