Graceland will be opening back up its doors after the former Elvis Presley estate shut down for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The mansion will be up and running on Thursday, according to the museum's website.
While Graceland will be ready for business, it certainly won't' be business as usual for the museum. A statement on the website revealed the precautions and changes that guests will see when visiting on Thursday and for the foreseeable future. The facility has been "working diligently to reconfigure all of our operations." This plan includes tours, retail shops and restaurants. The statement added that their program would "meet or exceed" all of the safety guidelines set forth by federal, state and local authorities. Social distancing, a capacity limit, and necessary health measures will all be taken seriously moving forward.
To keep social distancing at the forefront, the museum will only allow a 25 percent capacity limit on its tours. Meanwhile, restaurants will cap things at 50 percent. This scene will be a stark contrast to the typical crowds that pile up at Graceland, which can see upwards of 600,000 visitors a year. To provide a clean environment to its guests and to meet safety protocols, more hand sanitizing stations have been constructed on the property. At the same time, Graceland will screen workers before every shift. Any employee and guest who has a temperature over 100.4 degrees will be sent home. All employees will also wear face coverings.
While it's a good sign to see businesses get back up and running, there's a good chance many of these places won't operate at a profit in 2020. Speaking to Commercial Appeal, the managing partner of Graceland Holdings and majority owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Joel Weinshanker, predicted they would be in the red due to the restrictions on capacity. He said that he anticipates "that we're going to lose money every week this year." This follows suit with the push from President Donald Trump to get American back up and running as soon as possible to jumpstart the economy. Trump tweeted on Monday in all caps, "Reopen our country," to which a slew of Twitter users instead asked Trump what the status of the second stimulus package is. As of Monday, the HEROES Act has passed the House of Representatives but now must get clearance from the Senate, which seems unlikely.