Prince’s estate to assume management of Paisley Park
Minneapolis – Elvis has left the building. Paisley Park, that is.
After running Prince’s studio complex as a museum since October 2016, Graceland Holdings – which operates Elvis Presley’s Graceland mega-tourist attraction in Memphis, Tenn. – will no longer oversee Paisley Park as of Oct. 1. Prince’s estate will be in charge of running the Chanhassen landmark.
“It was always the intent for the family to take over,” said Joel Weinshanker, New York-based managing partner of P Park Management Inc., which was created by Graceland Holdings in 2016. “It’s always been my desire for the heirs’ voice to become louder and louder.”
Sharon Nelson, the oldest of Prince’s six surviving siblings, said the change was not because of unhappiness or economic reasons. The contract expired.
Nelson is uncertain how things will progress because there are differences of opinion among the heirs. Because of that, Comerica, the estate’s administrator, will be making the final decisions.
A new Paisley Park executive director will be named, and two longtime Prince associates, Trevor Guy and Kirk Johnson, will likely continue in their roles as creative adviser and Paisley Park estate manager, respectively. They had been working with Prince on the idea of converting the 65,000-square foot studios into a part-time museum, with plans the rock star had outlined, before his death on April 21, 2016.
Since he left no will, Prince’s estate has been mired in legal and tax issues. With his assets valued at perhaps $300 million, it has created a sizable tax burden even though the family hasn’t been able to monetize all potential properties.
Warner Bros., Prince’s original label, and Sony, via a new deal with the estate, have reissued several of his albums – including a deluxe version of “Purple Rain” with a deluxe “1999” due this year – as well as two new collections, “Piano & a Microphone 1983,” featuring some work tapes, and “Originals,” Prince’s versions of tunes he wrote for the Time, Sheila E, the Bangles and others.
A memoir Prince began working on before his death, “The Beautiful Ones,” will be published Oct. 29 by Random House.
The estate has signed a deal with Netflix for a documentary series, allowing the filmmakers access to unreleased materials – recordings, concert footage, movies, etc. – in Prince’s storied Paisley Park vault. Ava DuVernay, the celebrated moviemaker of “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time,” recently stepped down as director of the Prince project, with a replacement expected to be announced soon.
Some land Prince owned has been sold, including a 188-acre parcel in Chanhassen that Lennar Corp. is developing into 169 homes.
Paisley Park staffers were told of the impending changes in meetings Monday morning and late afternoon. Tours of the museum are offered six days a week, with prices ranging from $38.50 (general admission) to $160 (VIP).
In a statement released late Monday, the estate said it is “committed to continued growth and development of Paisley Park, passionately presenting Prince’s life and work and connecting authentically with his fans – both new and old – each and every day.”