$70 Million Building Permit Filed for Graceland Hotel

Elvis Presley Enterprises is ready to shake, rattle and roll on its planned hotel near Graceland.

EPE has applied for a $70 million building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the resort-style Guest House at Graceland, which will be located north of Presley’s Graceland mansion in Whitehaven.

Memphis-based architecture firm Hnedak Bobo Group is the architect for the project. Flintco Inc. is the general contractor.

The Guest House at Graceland, the largest hotel development in Memphis in decades, will include a grand stairwell connecting two floors in the lobby that harkens back to the main staircase at Graceland itself. The hotel, scheduled to open in fall 2015, also will include Jungle Room-inspired prints and accents, plus a sports bar and lounge that recalls the design of Graceland’s billiard room.

Other design touches include the separation of the hotel façade into three components to give it the feel of three separate residential-scale hotel buildings added over time.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Amos Maki

Bioworks to Host Startup Panel Discussion Nov. 19

At a panel discussion Wednesday, Nov. 19, that ties into Global Entrepreneurship Week, several entrepreneurs will talk to a Memphis audience about why they launched a startup in the city.

The “Why I Launched a Startup in Memphis” panel discussion will start at noon in the Memphis Bioworks conference center, 20 S. Dudley St. It will feature medical device, health care and technology entrepreneurs, including Mike Hoffmeyer, president and founder of Paytopia; Ryan Ramkhelawan, chief technology officer and co-founder of Restore Medical Solutions; Virag Reti, CEO and co-founder of Cabsolutely; Brad Silver, CEO of Quire; and Byron Smith, founder of EndoInSight.

Lunch will be provided, and complimentary parking is available in the Memphis Bioworks parking garage at the corner of Union and Dudley. RSVP at bit.ly/11oiVd3.

– Andy Meek

Collierville Chamber CEO to Retire

Fran Persechini has decided to step down as president and CEO of the Collierville Chamber of Commerce after spending 20 years with the organization.

“I am so proud of the work our chamber has done to improve our business climate, cultivate leaders and strengthen our community,” said Persechini in an email. “The chamber is positioned well to do great things and impact Collierville even more, making this the ideal time for me to step aside and let a new leader carry the torch.”

Chamber board chairman Matt VanCleve said Persechini brought an unparalleled enthusiasm to the job, one that motivated staff, board members and volunteers.

“Leading the Collierville chamber for 20 years is no easy task, but one Fran has done with amazing enthusiasm,” he said.

Former board chairman Matt White is heading a search committee for Persechini’s replacement. No timeframe for Persechini’s departure or finding her successor has been announced yet.

“We are most thankful for to her for her years of service and for her willingness to help in any way she can with the transition process, ensuring her replacement enjoys a smooth transition,” said White.

Persechini, a Massachusetts native, and her husband, Fred, moved to Collierville in 1994 after he was assigned to the Memphis Army Depot. Persechini began her career at the chamber in December 1994.

Persechini’s tenure coincided with a period of immense growth for the Memphis suburb and the organization, which now has 750 businesses as members, an all-time high.

– Amos Maki

St. Jude Give Thanks Walk to Be Held Nov. 22

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is holding the “St. Jude Give thanks. Walk.” Saturday, Nov. 22, at Carriage Crossing, 4674 Merchants Park Circle in Collierville. The walk begins at 9 a.m., with check-in starting at 7 a.m.

The event will include music, food and fun as the community comes together to raise funds for the children of St. Jude. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

Supporters in more than 65 communities across the country are participating in the walk. For more information on how to participate, visit givethankswalk.org

– Don Wade

Tigers’ Hayes Nominated For Burlsworth Trophy

Brandon Hayes, who came to the University of Memphis twice as a walk-on and now has played a significant role in the Tigers heading toward their first bowl game since 2008, has been named a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy.

The Springdale, Ark., Rotary Club has announced the 55 players nominated from NCAA FBS schools for the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award’s fifth year, the Trophy honors Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman.

The award will be given to the collegiate player who began his career as a walk-on and has now shown outstanding performance on the field. Nominees must have begun their first season of participation with an FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from their athletic department.

Hayes first walked on to the Memphis program during spring practices in 2010. After an injury and a season at a community college program, he walked on again.

Last year Hayes was honored at the Highland Hundred postseason banquet, receiving the DeAngelo Williams Most Valuable Player award. Hayes rushed for 860 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. This year, as a senior through the first nine games, Hayes has run for 604 yards and five touchdowns. He has also caught nine passes for 66 yards and two scores.

Springdale Rotary Club will honor the finalists and announce the winner Dec. 8.

– Don Wade

Tenn. Revenue Collections See Increase in October

Tennessee Finance Commissioner Larry Martin says the state's revenue collections for October were more than $15 million over what was expected.

Martin said in a news release on Thursday that the state's sales tax collections recorded the strongest first-quarter growth since 2011. They were more than $17 million above the estimate for October.

The state's general fund exceeded expectations by more than $10 million.

However, corporate franchise and excise taxes for October were $26.8 million, which is $19.2 million below the budgeted estimate of $46 million.

– The Associated Press