50 Graceland Employees Laid Off

Monday, November 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Employees at the former home of Elvis Presley are singing the blues instead of rock 'n' roll.

Fifty workers at Graceland are being laid off because of declining tourism since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

``Since almost a third of our visitorship is from outside the country, we have seen significant effects and have put into effect a number of reductions and cutbacks,'' said CEO Jack Sodden, the head of Elvis Presley Enterprises, on Thursday. ``We're losing tremendous amounts of revenue. We have to cut our operating expenses.''

Visitors wanting to see where Presley lived and artifacts from his career have declined by 15 percent.

Presley died in 1977. His early hits like ``Hound Dog'' and ``Heartbreak Hotel'' got rock 'n' roll started as a mass phenomenon in the 1950s.