Mississippi native and the King of Rock n Roll Elvis Presley died 41 years ago today. While the rock n roll legend is gone, his memory is never forgotten especially in Ocean Springs.
It’s a crazy little thing called love and that’s just what Elvis Presley felt for Ocean Springs in the 1950s. While playing what was called the ‘Louisiana Hayride,’ Elvis stayed at the Gulf Hills Hotel. General Manager Donna Brown said, “During the summers from 1951 through to 1957, he came to Gulf Hills. He stayed here, the band, mom, dad, everybody and their brother was here during those summers.”
Elvis would be seen at Gulf Hills learning to waterski or riding horses. As he became more well-known, his visits attracted more locals and tourists who came to the Ocean Springs resort to see him. Brown says even over 60 years later, not much has changed. “I still have people coming in, almost every day. Somebody stops in, calls, or they say ‘hey, I was here in 1953 when we had our wedding reception and Elvis came in and sang a song.’”
The suite that Elvis used to stay in on his vacations costs $1,000 a night at Gulf Hills. “The suite is 2,000 square feet and it’s a 1950’s motif. Everything up here is authentic. Elvis loved oversized furnishings. He loved velvet. He loved chrome and glass. So, up here that’s what we have. We’ve got velvet headboards. We’ve got a lot of leather, raw Italian silk, and of course, the oversized furnishings.”
They’ve even painted one of the rooms in the suite Elvis’ favorite color: pumpkin spice. Brown says the suite is booked more than she could have ever imagined, including on the anniversary of Elvis’ death. “It’s funny because whenever anything goes wrong in this hotel or we can’t explain something we say ‘must be Elvis, must be Elvis.’”