Prince’s legendary home and recording studio complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, will likely open to public tours beginning in October, according to a report from Minnesota TV station KARE 11. In a statement released yesterday, the late musician’s siblings announced that the complex, called Paisley Park, will be transformed into a museum.
"Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on," Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson said. Only a few hundred people have ever been inside Paisley Park, Nelson said, but now fans from around the globe will be able to step into the world of Prince Rogers Nelson.
Paisley Park, built in 1987 for $10 million, spans 65,000 square feet on nine acres of land, according to the Star Tribune. A proposal submitted to the city of Chanhassen states 70-minute tours will cover the "recording and mixing studios, video editing rooms, rehearsal rooms, Prince’s private NPG Music Club, and the soundstage and performance hall," as well as displays of his belongings and memorabilia, including clothes, awards, artwork, his tour bus, and motorcycles. The museum also tentatively plans to offer vegetarian food, in honor of Prince’s strict vegetarian diet. The musician also had an apartment in the complex, but it is not clear if that space will be part of the tour. Paisley Park’s recording studios will continue to be used for special sessions, and concerts will likely be held as well.
Chanhassen, a city of approximately 23,000 about 30 minutes southwest of Minneapolis, has already been fielding visitors flocking to the gates of Paisley Park to pay tribute to Prince after his death on April 21st. The proposal will be reviewed by Chanhassen’s planning commission on September 20th. If it is approved, the city council would give it a final vote on October 3rd, three days before the museum’s tentatively scheduled opening, and shortly before a memorial concert. The museum’s proposal estimates 1,500 to 2,000 visitors per day, on tours that start every 10 minutes. It mentions employing 20 to 60 locals, and would almost certainly mean a bump for nearby restaurants, hotels, and other tourist-focused businesses.
"From the documents that I’ve seen and the conversations that I’ve had with family members and close friends, I believe that the plans for Paisley Park are in full accordance with Prince’s wishes," Chanhassen mayor Denny Laufenburger wrote in a letter of support for the project.
Bremer Trust, which is administering Prince’s contested estate — the singer left no will — has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Graceland Holdings, LLC, for the "development, management, and oversight of all aspects of the museum at Paisley Park," according to the proposal. Graceland Holdings, which manages Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, will also provide initial financing for the museum.
Although the plan to convert the estate into a museum has not been officially approved, tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, August 26th, at 3PM ET, through the Paisley Park website. The proposal states regular tickets will be sold for $38.50, and VIP tickets for $100. (All the proposal says about the VIP experience is that tours will be in "smaller groups" than the 25 to 30 people planned for regular tours.) Bremer Trust’s plans do not state what will happen to advance tickets if the museum is not approved by the city — an event that seems unlikely given Laufenburger’s strong support and the potential lasting boost in revenue it could bring.