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Exploring America’s National Parks: Unforgettable Senior Travel Tours
Are you a senior looking for an unforgettable travel experience? Look no further than the majestic national parks of the United States. From the stunning landscapes to the rich history and cultural heritage, there is something for everyone to enjoy. In this article, we will explore senior travel tours in the USA, specifically focusing on national parks. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
The Benefits of Senior Travel Tours
Before we delve into the specifics of senior travel tours in the USA, let’s first discuss why joining a tour is beneficial for seniors. Traveling can be physically demanding, especially when exploring vast national parks. By joining a senior travel tour, you can enjoy all the wonders without worrying about logistics and transportation.
Senior travel tours are designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. They provide well-planned itineraries that cater to your interests and physical abilities. With knowledgeable guides leading the way, you can rest assured that you won’t miss out on any important sights or experiences.
Additionally, joining a tour allows you to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for exploration. You can make new friends and create lasting memories together as you navigate through breathtaking landscapes.
Discovering America’s National Parks
America’s national parks are renowned worldwide for their natural beauty and ecological diversity. From coast to coast, these protected areas offer an abundance of opportunities for seniors to connect with nature and immerse themselves in awe-inspiring surroundings.
Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in Wyoming but extending into Montana and Idaho, is one of the most popular choices among senior travelers. Known for its geothermal wonders such as Old Faithful geyser and colorful hot springs, Yellowstone offers numerous opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and even camping.
For those seeking dramatic vistas and towering cliffs, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination. Located in Arizona, this iconic park offers breathtaking views of the Colorado River as it winds its way through the immense canyon. Senior travel tours often include guided hikes along the rim or even helicopter tours for a bird’s-eye view.
If you’re interested in history and cultural exploration, consider visiting Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to well-preserved Native American cliff dwellings, offering a glimpse into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who inhabited the area over 700 years ago. Senior travel tours to Mesa Verde often include guided tours of the cliff dwellings and informative presentations on the park’s rich history.
Choosing the Right Senior Travel Tour
When selecting a senior travel tour to explore America’s national parks, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, ensure that the tour is specifically designed for seniors and takes into account any physical limitations you may have. Look for tours that offer comfortable accommodations and transportation options that suit your needs.
Researching the itinerary is also crucial. Make sure that the tour includes visits to your preferred national parks and covers activities that align with your interests. Whether you enjoy hiking, wildlife watching, or simply taking in scenic views from a comfortable vantage point, there are tours available to cater to your preferences.
Lastly, read reviews and testimonials from previous participants to get an idea of what to expect from a particular tour operator. Hearing about other seniors’ experiences can help you make an informed decision and choose a reputable company that provides excellent service.
Exploring America’s national parks through senior travel tours is an ideal way for seniors to experience all that these magnificent natural wonders have to offer. Whether you’re captivated by geothermal features at Yellowstone National Park, mesmerized by the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, or fascinated by ancient cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, there is no shortage of unforgettable experiences awaiting you.
By joining a senior travel tour, you can leave the logistics and planning to the experts, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of these national treasures. So don’t let age be a barrier to your wanderlust – embark on a senior travel tour and create memories that will last a lifetime.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Paisley Park, Home of Prince, Will Be Open to Public Tours
MINNEAPOLIS — Paisley Park, the private estate and studio complex of the late rock superstar Prince, will open for daily public tours starting Oct. 6, the trust company overseeing his estate announced Wednesday, and the company that runs Elvis Presley's Graceland will manage it.
Bremer Trust said in a statement that millions of Prince fans will get the chance to tour the 65,000-square-foot complex in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, where Prince collapsed in an elevator and died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl in April.
"Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on," Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, said in the statement.
"Only a few hundred people have had the rare opportunity to tour the estate during his lifetime," she said. "Now, fans from around the world will be able to experience Prince's world for the first time as we open the doors to this incredible place."
Related: Pills Found at Prince's Estate Contained Fentanyl, Report Says
The tours will be run by Graceland Holdings, which has overseen Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, since 1982, according to the museum's business plan. Graceland, where Presley died in 1977, has welcomed more than 20 million visitors since opening to the public, averaging over 600,000 annually in recent years. Graceland is providing the initial funds for capital improvements and operating costs.
Besides being the music star's home, Paisley Park has been "the center of Prince's creative endeavors" since its opening in 1985, Nelson and other siblings said in an additional statement.
The plan says the tours will include studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits, and the soundstage where he rehearsed for tours and hosted exclusive private concerts. Also featured will be thousands of artifacts from his personal archives, "including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings, concert memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles."
Related: Prince Was Mystery Cash Buyer of 'Purple Rain' House
Tickets go on sale online only on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT. Standard tickets will cost $38.50, but VIP tours will be offered for small groups priced at $100 or more.
Tours will last about 70 minutes, starting every 10 minutes, and each group is expected to include 25-30 guests. Graceland officials expect 1,500 to 2,000 guests on peak days. No walk-up sales will be allowed.
The plan requires rezoning approval from the city, which posted documents about the plan on its website. The planning commission hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20 and the City Council will consider it Oct 3.
"Chanhassen will be pleased to demonstrate to the thousands of visitors to Paisley Park the same hospitality and respect that Prince enjoyed during his time in Chanhassen," Mayor Denny Laufenburger said in a statement.
Related : What Is Fentanyl? Drug That Killed Prince Kills Thousands
Prince, 57, left no known will. The judge overseeing the case has not ruled on who his heirs will be. But court filings indicate they'll likely include Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings because Prince was divorced, his parents are dead and he had no confirmed children.
Bremer Trust said the family supports the museum plan. The court has not ruled on whether a woman and girl who say they're Prince's niece and grandniece are entitled to share in the estate, which Bremer Trust has said could be worth up to $300 million.
The criminal investigation is continuing. Some of the pills taken from Paisley Park after his death were counterfeit drugs that actually contained fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, an official close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said records show Prince had no prescription for any controlled substances in the state of Minnesota in the 12 months before he died. Authorities are still investigating how Prince obtained the drugs.
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Prince's Paisley Park to open for tours starting in October
August 24, 2016 / 10:00 PM EDT / AP
MINNEAPOLIS -- Paisley Park, the private estate and studio complex of the late rock superstar Prince , will open for daily public tours starting Oct. 6, the trust company overseeing his estate announced Wednesday, and the company that runs Elvis Presley’s Graceland will manage it.
Bremer Trust said in a statement that millions of Prince fans will get the chance to tour the 65,000-square-foot complex in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, where Prince collapsed in an elevator and died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl in April.
“Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on,” Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, said in the statement. “Only a few hundred people have had the rare opportunity to tour the estate during his lifetime. Now, fans from around the world will be able to experience Prince’s world for the first time as we open the doors to this incredible place.”
The tours will be run by Graceland Holdings, which has overseen Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, since it 1982, according to the museum’s business plan. Graceland, where Presley died in 1977, has welcomed more than 20 million visitors since opening to the public, averaging over 600,000 annually in recent years. Graceland is providing the initial funds for capital improvements and operating costs.
The plan says the tours will include studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits, and the soundstage where he rehearsed for tours and hosted exclusive private concerts. Also featured will be thousands of artifacts from his personal archives, “including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings, concert memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles.”
Tickets go on sale online only on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT. Standard tickets will cost $38.50, but VIP tours will be offered for small groups priced at $100 or more. Tours will last about 70 minutes, starting every 10 minutes, and each group is expected to include 25-30 guests. Graceland officials expect 1,500 to 2,000 guests on peak days. No walk-up sales will be allowed.
The plan requires rezoning approval from the city, which posted documents about the plan its website. The planning commission hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20 and the City Council will consider it Oct 3.
“Chanhassen will be pleased to demonstrate to the thousands of visitors to Paisley Park the same hospitality and respect that Prince enjoyed during his time in Chanhassen,” Mayor Denny Laufenburger said in a statement.
Prince, 57, left no known will. The judge overseeing the case has not ruled on who his heirs will be. But court filings indicate they’ll likely include Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings because Prince was divorced, his parents are dead and he had no confirmed children. Bremer Trust said the family supports the museum plan. The court has not ruled on whether a woman and girl who say they’re Prince’s niece and grandniece are entitled to share in the estate, which Bremer Trust has said could be worth up to $300 million.
The criminal investigation is continuing. Some of the pills taken Paisley Park after his death were counterfeit drugs that actually contained fentanyl - a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, an official close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Sunday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said records show Prince had no prescription for any controlled substances in the state of Minnesota in the 12 months before he died. Authorities are still investigating how Prince obtained the drugs.
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Paisley Park, Prince’s Lonely Palace
By Amanda Petrusich
In 1984, Prince recorded a song called “Paisley Park,” for his seventh record, “Around the World in a Day.” Its lyrics imagine a kind of utopia:
There is a park that is known For the face it attracts Colorful people whose hair On one side is swept back The smile on their faces It speaks of profound inner peace Ask where they’re going They’ll tell you nowhere They’ve taken a lifetime lease On Paisley Park
Prince wrote often and eagerly about the idea of sanctuary—places where his spiritual anxieties were assuaged. Back then, Paisley Park was merely an imagined paradise. “Paisley Park is in your heart,” he sings on the chorus.
Three years later, it was real: in 1987, Prince built a sixty-five-thousand-square-foot, ten-million-dollar recording complex in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and called it Paisley Park. It was intended to be a commercial facility—Madonna, R.E.M., and Stevie Wonder all recorded there—but by the end of the nineteen-nineties it had stopped accepting outside clients. Eventually—no one can quite say when—Prince began living there. He wanted to establish a self-contained dominion, insulated from interference or judgment, where he enjoyed total control, and his life could bleed easily into his work.
On April 21, 2016, Prince collapsed and died in an elevator at Paisley Park. He had overdosed on the opioid fentanyl, which he’d been taking for chronic hip pain. He was fifty-seven, had sold around a hundred million albums, and did not leave a will. Shortly after hearing the news, Joel Weinshanker, a managing partner of Graceland Holdings (which runs Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion, in Memphis), approached Bremer Trust, the bank tasked by a Minnesota court with administering Prince’s estate while his heirs were determined. Weinshanker wanted to make sure that Prince’s things were cared for. The bank agreed to let him visit. “The air-conditioning and the heating system weren’t working,” he told me. “There were leaks in places where you wouldn’t want leaks.”
Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, and his five half siblings were eventually named his heirs. With the family’s blessing, Graceland Holdings took over management of the property. Because Paisley Park is expensive to maintain, and because the estate was facing a considerable tax bill, the family made one decision quickly: Prince’s sanctuary would become a museum. Six months after Prince’s death, on October 28, 2016, Paisley Park opened to the public.
From the road, Paisley Park looks industrial, utilitarian, and cheerless, like a big-box store that has recently gone out of business. The exterior is covered in white aluminum panels. Inside, fleecy clouds have been painted on pale-blue walls. Sunlight comes through a glass pyramid over the lobby, but there are very few windows, which makes roaming through the complex disorienting, like spending all day inside a casino. Prince didn’t like cameras or cell phones, and visitors are asked to turn these off and place them in pouches at the front desk. (When I left, my pouch was unsealed by a stone-faced security guard whose sole duty appeared to be unsealing pouches.)
On my first visit, I took the V.I.P. tour, which costs a hundred dollars (there is an additional fee for parking), and takes about an hour and forty minutes. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, and buyers are instructed not to show up more than twenty minutes before the tour begins. The staff is strict about these rules; when I arrived for my 1 P.M. tour a little after twelve-thirty, I was turned away, and nervously circled a Target parking lot. My group included a couple celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary who had driven eighteen hours from Richmond, Virginia; two punk musicians from Asheville, North Carolina; and a young man who had travelled alone from Colorado.
The tour begins in the atrium. A pair of caged white doves coo peaceably on an upstairs balcony. (Divinity and Majesty, doves Prince kept as pets, received an “ambient singing” credit on his album “One Nite . . . ,” from 2002. Divinity still lives at Paisley Park, though Majesty died in 2017.) Prince’s ashes are mounted fifteen feet above the white marble floor, in an urn designed to resemble Paisley Park—it, too, looks like a big-box store, in miniature. The placement feels deliberate, as if guests were required to check in with Prince before proceeding deeper into his home. It’s expected that visitors, some of whom are still putting away their car keys, will pause here to enact grave-site rituals—genuflect, sob, pray, bow, or whatever it is a person does to convey homage. My fellow tour-goers clutched one another. Anyone uncomfortable with sudden public displays of bereavement might simply shift anxiously from one foot to the other, uncertain of where to focus her eyes.
Before I arrived, I found the property’s purpose somewhat oblique: was it a shrine, a historic site, a mausoleum, a business? In the atrium, I discovered that Paisley Park provides an immediate target for a very particular kind of grief. (The museum’s curator, Angie Marchese, described it to me simply as “a place to go.”) Most of Prince’s fans didn’t know him personally, yet his work was essential to their lives. When he died, where could they mourn? An ungenerous reading might be that Americans are so ill equipped to manage death that we are forced to mediate it through tourism. We soothe our pain by buying a plane ticket, booking a hotel room, buying a key chain: expressing gratitude via a series of payments. It works, to an extent.
The Paisley Park tour charges on from the atrium, through exhibit rooms filled with displays—costumes, instruments, notebooks, gold records—that are linked to albums, films, or specific periods in Prince’s career. It snakes into his office and his editing bay, and through three studio spaces. These feel clean, modern, and expensive. One of the highlights of the tour is a chance to play Ping-Pong at Prince’s own table, where he often beat his guests—including Michael Jackson, who visited Paisley Park in 1986, while Prince was working on the film “ Under the Cherry Moon ,” the follow-up to “ Purple Rain .” Prince mercilessly taunted the hapless Jackson, who had never played Ping-Pong before. When Jackson dropped his paddle, in defeat or clumsiness, Prince joyfully walloped a ball into his crotch. (The gift shop now sells canary-yellow Ping-Pong balls branded with Prince’s purple symbol; I bought a set of two for twelve dollars.) Prince was a more gracious basketball player, though no less formidable. “I don’t foul guests,” he told the writer Touré when they played a two-on-two game at Paisley Park, in 1998. The incongruousness of the hobby, and his skill at it, was immortalized in a “Chappelle’s Show” skit from 2004, in which Prince, who was barely five feet three, drifts gently down from the basket after a winning dunk. The bit reiterated a thought many of us had already had: that the laws of the physical world simply did not apply to Prince.
Prince’s office and the so-called little kitchen—a small room just off the atrium, which contains a microwave, a gold-colored French press, a coffee table, and a couch where he watched Minnesota Timberwolves games—are mostly unchanged. It’s fun to imagine Prince doing ordinary things here, like unwrapping a microwave pizza, waiting impatiently for it to cook, and then getting molten cheese plastered to the roof of his mouth. (The tour, I should note, does not suggest any such goings on.) At this point, visitors are briefly free to wander alone through the exhibit rooms. Some of my tour-mates saw me taking notes in a small notebook and pulled out their own pads and pens. We were all hungry for information. The screen saver on the desktop computer in the editing bay features a scene of Egyptian pyramids. At the time of my visit, there were framed posters of Fritz Lang’s “ Metropolis ” and Clint Eastwood’s “ Bird ,” a film about the life of Charlie Parker, and scented candles had been placed in almost every room. In the office, I noted a stack of books—including a rhyming dictionary, the Bible, several volumes about ancient Egypt, and “ In Praise of Black Women .”
Many of Prince’s elaborate stage costumes are on display here. His outfits were often custom-made, and the craftsmanship and whimsy involved in their construction is staggering. I spent a good ten minutes sizing up a pair of sparkling flared pants, suède-heeled boots, and a generously ruffled shirt, all in the same immodest shade of cherry red—an outfit too bold and spectacular to imagine anyone else wearing. (On Prince, it was majestic.) There are several costumes of historical significance—the long purple coat from the “Purple Rain” movie, that aqua suit he wore for his Super Bowl performance, in 2007—but it’s hard to discern what they reveal about Prince, beyond his waist size (in the “Purple Rain” era, a mere twenty-two and a half inches). They’re relics of his professional, public life—proof of a groundbreaking career.
Fans tend to shell out staggering amounts of money for memorabilia or other ephemera, because owning such things allows them to feel closer to an artist whose work has deeply moved them (which is to say, it makes real an intimacy that was previously imagined), or because they believe they can learn something private, and heretofore unknown, from it. It’s possible to cherish music without worrying about where it came from, or what sort of life its creator led, but true love—and what else powers fandom?—makes us want to know a person in some fundamental and complete way. Stuff becomes a conduit for understanding, and for making more sense of the wild, alchemical rush that fuels both fandom and the art itself. How did Prince come to make so many nonpareil recordings? What allowed for it? What clues now lurk in his silverware drawer, or under his pillow, or in the back of his makeup case?
Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson, in 1958, in Minneapolis. He was named—in a way—for his father, John Nelson, a pianist who performed as Prince Rogers. His relationship with his mother, Mattie Shaw, was strained, and his early life was isolated. His parents divorced, in 1966, and he was taken in by a neighbor. From a young age, Prince was confident of his exceptional talent and its worth to the rest of the world. In an interview with his high-school newspaper, in 1976, about a band he had formed, he blamed its lack of fame on geography. “I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now,” he said. On his most thrilling songs, such as “Let’s Go Crazy,” from 1984, or “Sign o’ the Times,” from 1987, he sounds preternaturally relaxed, as if his musicianship was as innate to him as breathing.
In 1992, Warner Bros. offered Prince a six-record deal worth a hundred million dollars—then the largest recording-and-publishing contract in history. Yet, by 1996, he had begun publicly condemning the music industry. He changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol—Warner Bros. controlled the trademark for the name Prince—and scrawled the word “Slave” on his cheek. His distrust of Warner Bros. has made the contents of his private vault at Paisley Park, which is rumored to contain thousands of unreleased recordings, especially tantalizing. “I didn’t always give the record companies the best song,” he told Rolling Stone , in 2014.
As a pop star, he was unprecedented and occasionally unfathomable. Tiny and hypersexual, he wore heeled boots and black eyeliner, and purposefully eschewed easy categorization. Unlike Michael Jackson, Prince did not appear to be in conflict with himself. Tommy Barbarella, who played keyboards in the New Power Generation, Prince’s backing band in the nineteen-nineties, described that self-assurance as essential to Prince’s success. “He touched something, especially in those people who were outcasts, or who felt different,” Barbarella said. “He made it O.K. to be different.”
Details about Prince’s personal life remain scant, and there have been surprisingly few posthumous revelations. There is tenderness and lust in his songs, but it’s harder to find those things in the stories told about his life. This makes autobiographical readings of his work difficult. In 1996, he married Mayte Garcia, a twenty-two-year-old belly dancer. She had toured with him since she was seventeen, when her parents appointed Prince her legal guardian. Garcia gave birth to a son, Amiir, in October of that year. He died in the hospital at six days old, of a rare genetic condition. Prince refused to publicly acknowledge his son’s death. Oprah Winfrey arrived at Paisley Park just a few weeks afterward, and filmed an interview with the couple. She gently asked Prince about Amiir. “It’s all good,” he replied. “Never mind what you hear.”
Garcia’s memoir, “ The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince ,” was published in April of 2017. It’s one of the only first-person accounts of life at Paisley Park, and the book’s disclosures are sometimes troubling. Under the tutelage of Larry Graham, the bassist for Sly and the Family Stone, Prince became a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and because of his new faith, he discouraged Garcia from seeking medical attention after a miscarriage. He was often demanding and proprietary of other people’s bodies. If his female backing dancers gained weight, Garcia writes, he docked or withheld their pay.
By many accounts, Prince was an inscrutable and paranoid boss. “An enigma to the end,” Barbarella said. “He didn’t have close friends.” Alan Leeds, who was Prince’s tour manager for much of the nineteen-eighties, and briefly ran Paisley Park Records, said that it was Prince’s need for total control that drove him to build Paisley Park. Leeds, who now manages the R. & B. singer D’Angelo, cut ties with Prince in 1992. When D’Angelo visited Paisley Park, in 2000, Prince cautioned him to keep an eye on his tapes when Leeds was around. He worried that Leeds—or someone else—had been leaking stolen recordings. (Leeds denies the accusation.) “When D. came back, he called me from the car,” Leeds told me. “He said, ‘Man, you won’t believe it. He’s out of his mind.’ ”
Prince’s work ethic was notorious. He often played all or most of the instruments on his albums himself, a tendency that, in an interview with Rolling Stone , in 1985, he described as a product of his vigor: “The reason I didn’t use musicians a lot of the time had to do with the hours that I worked. I swear to God it’s not out of boldness when I say this, but there’s not a person around who can stay awake as long as I can,” he said. “Music is what keeps me awake.”
That he was so fluent at such varied tasks is now part of his legend; we hold it up as further evidence of his brilliance. On “For You,” his first album, which he released when he was twenty, Prince is credited with playing twenty-seven different instruments. One track contains forty-seven stacked and layered vocal lines.
Prince’s virtuosity was uncontestable, and perhaps nobody else could have played those parts in the same way. But collaboration, even when it’s difficult, can sometimes yield a richer, stranger document; work generated and realized in perfect solitude often feels airless. Even though most of his songs are about sex or dancing or some other kind of interpersonal communion, Prince almost never let anyone else into his art. In 2004, when he and George Harrison were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, and others performed the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Prince appears onscreen about halfway through, as if he’d just been teleported in from some much cooler event. (Rewatching, you can see that he was, in fact, there the whole time, curtly bobbing his head from the far side of the stage.) What he does next, on his solo, is wild and stirring. His shirt is unbuttoned, and there’s a rose pinned to his lapel. At first, his eyes stay closed. After a while, his guitar seems to disappear entirely, and it’s as if the solo is simply coming from Prince himself—beaming out of his chest. Yet he is never quite of the band. Toward the end, a gleeful and mischievous expression seizes his face. This might be Prince most purely himself—locked into some unreal groove, alternately ignoring or showing everyone else up. Before he strolls offstage, he launches his guitar toward the heavens. It never comes back down.
At Paisley Park, he was able to write, rehearse, and record as much as he wanted, without compromise, and on his own schedule. “He didn’t see music as work,” Leeds told me. “It’s just what he did. If you called it work, you were a cynic.” In “The Most Beautiful,” Garcia includes a note that Prince sent her early in the couple’s relationship: “A secret—when I have a disagreement with someone—it’s usually only one. Then they’re gone.”
Visitors do not have access to the living quarters at Paisley Park. The tour deals with this largely by misdirection, pointing guests toward details that might seem revealing—like the elegant slope of Prince’s handwriting—but nonetheless require additional extrapolation to feel meaningful. That interpretive work is generally left to the individual. When the guide pointed out a little circle of spilled wax on the carpet—Prince himself had spilled that wax!—I gazed at it longingly, hoping that something significant might be revealed.
Mostly, the tour made me feel lonesome. Absent its owner, Paisley Park is a husk. In 2004, when Prince briefly rented a mansion in Los Angeles from the basketball player Carlos Boozer, he redesigned the place, putting his logo on the front gate, painting pillars purple, installing all-black carpet, and adding a night club. (Boozer threatened to sue, but Prince restored the house before he moved out.) Yet Paisley Park feels anonymous. His studios are beautiful, but unremarkable. There are many photos of him, and his symbol is omnipresent, but I was hoping for evidence of his outsized quirks and affectations—clues to some bigger truth. I found little that seemed especially personal. Paisley Park presents Prince only as a visionary—not as a father, a husband, a friend, or a son.
It seems likely that Prince himself insured this. (“There’s not much I want them to know about me, other than the music,” Prince told Details in 1991, when asked about his fans.) Although he left no will, he’d carefully prepared his home for visitors prior to his death. Art work or exhibits that seem as if they were surely erected posthumously—a painting of Prince’s eyes that overlooks the building’s entryway, a mural that depicts both his personal influences (Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Carlos Santana) and the artists he believes he has influenced (Sheila E., members of the New Power Generation), an exhibit that showcases the customized Hondamatic motorcycle he rode in “Purple Rain”—have been there for years.
This part, at least, felt extraordinary to me. Genius does not always come linked to this sort of self-possession. Prince built monuments to himself in his own home, during his lifetime! He had even tested out the museum concept, periodically opening Paisley Park for guided tours. In 2000, he charged fifteen dollars for a regular tour and seventy dollars for a V.I.P. version, which included a visit to the underground parking garage where he shot the “Sexy MF” video, in 1992. Like many celebrities, he was attempting to wrest control of his own legend and contain it.
In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, Prince’s critics often characterized him as despotic, self-righteous, vain, and arrogant, but, later on, the narrative shifted. Perhaps there was a sense that not very many people could or would make music like his anymore—that we had reached the end of some line. His work began to feel increasingly inimitable and precious. The year he died, he sold more albums than any living artist.
Although Prince’s estate has disregarded some of his preferences—his discography is now available on Spotify, a platform he pulled his music from in 2015, in part because he believed that the company didn’t compensate artists properly—there’s something profound about how Paisley Park insists on maintaining Prince’s privacy. It does not need to modernize him (which feels unnecessary), or even to humanize him (which feels impossible). In 2016, the most common response to Prince’s death was disbelief. His self-presentation was so carefully controlled that he never once betrayed his own mortality. He’d done nothing to make us think he was like us. During parties, Prince sometimes stood in a dark corner of the balcony and watched other people dance. Visiting Paisley Park now evokes a similar sensation—of being near Prince, but never quite with him. ♦
An earlier version of this piece misstated how Prince acquired the opioid fentanyl, which killed him.
By Vinson Cunningham
By Doreen St. Félix
By Andre Dubus III
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Prince’s Paisley Park Is Cleared to Open as a Museum
By Ben Sisario
- Oct. 25, 2016
Paisley Park, Prince’s storied recording lair outside Minneapolis, has finally cut through the red tape to become a museum.
Representatives of Paisley Park and Prince’s estate announced on Tuesday that the complex has “permanently opened its doors” as a museum, after receiving approval on Monday by the City Council of Chanhassen, Minn., where Paisley Park is located.
Three weeks ago the Council decided to delay voting on a zoning change for the museum, citing concerns about traffic, parking and public safety — a move that complicated the opening of the museum, planned for just three days later.
The Council granted Paisley Park a temporary permit that allowed a limited number of visits by the public, but the delay effectively muted what was to have been a splashy opening for the museum, which organizers expect to draw up to 600,000 visitors a year, a week before “ The Official Prince Tribute Concert ” in St. Paul.
Prince died of an accidental overdose of painkillers in April, at age 57.
According to an announcement by Paisley Park, tours of the museum will start again on Friday, and tickets for the remaining dates of 2016 are on sale at the museum’s website . Tickets for next year are expected to go on sale starting in “mid-November,” the museum said. The museum’s tours — which cost $38.50 or $100 for a V.I.P. pass — promise a glimpse into Prince’s private working environment, as well as goodies from Prince’s personal archives like wardrobes, musical instruments and even motorcycles.
Last week, Warner Bros. Records and NPG Records, Prince’s label, announced a hits collection, “Prince 4Ever,” due Nov. 22, and a deluxe reissue of Prince’s classic “Purple Rain” containing an entire second album of unreleased material, to be released next year.
News | Now that Paisley Park is open, here’s what you…
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News | Now that Paisley Park is open, here’s what you need to know
Paisley Park will finally open for business, full-time, starting Friday.
Prince’s estate had hoped to have the recording studio up and running as a museum on Oct. 6, but the Chanhassen City Council delayed the decision to rezone the property. Monday night, the council gave its final approval.
Tickets are available online via officialpaisleypark.com . General admission, self-guided tours last about 70 minutes and are $46, which includes fees. It allows access to Paisley Park’s main floor, editing suites, rehearsal rooms, soundstage and NPG Music Club.
VIP tickets are $111.75 and feature a guided tour, including several additional spaces only available to VIP guests, and last about 100 minutes.
No photography is allowed inside Paisley Park, although VIP ticketholders do have the opportunity to pose for a photo next to a purple piano and guitar.
Tickets are now available Thursdays through Sundays, and some Wednesdays, through Dec. 31. Tickets for 2017 tours are expected to go on sale in mid-November. Hours vary, although on the busiest days, tours run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Preparing for the trip
Be sure to bring an electronic or printed copy of your ticket and plan to arrive on time. Guests are asked not to bring “unnecessary bags or belongings to Paisley Park, including cameras or tablets.” Once again, photography is not allowed and those caught shooting photos or video will be permanently banned from the property.
Those with tickets for Friday or Sunday can park at Paisley Park, which is located at 7801 Audubon Road in Chanhassen. Guests are asked to arrive no more than 20 minutes prior to the start of their tour. Those traveling by taxi, Uber or Lyft can be dropped off in front of the building.
Ticketholders for Saturday must park on levels 3 or 4 at the garage at 500 Market Street, behind the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. A shuttle will transfer guests to and from Paisley Park.
Parking details for tours in November and December will be announced online at officialpaisleypark.com .
What you’ll see inside
Organizers did have permission to open temporarily on select days this month and about 1,200 fans have already visited the site. Tours are run by the same company that oversees Elvis Presley’s Graceland.
Visitors enter through Paisley Park’s central atrium, which includes a small scale replica of the building, complete with a small purple box that houses Prince’s remains. Fans can also see a cage that houses Prince’s pair of pet doves, Majesty and Divinity.
Not all of the 65,000-square-foot complex is open. Prince’s residential quarters are off limits, and the elevator where he was found dead April 21 of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl is now hidden behind a display.
Prince always meant for Paisley Park to be a public space and much of the site was already outfitted with awards and memorabilia. Organizers have since converted some office spaces into showrooms, with the promise that it’s an ongoing process and additional pieces will be added in the coming months.
Several rooms are devoted to specific Prince albums and include guitars, costumes and handwritten lyrics. Some of Prince’s workspaces, both studio and office, were left largely untouched, with guitars, keyboards and handwritten notes from the Purple One in full view. His music is playing throughout the facility and fans may get the chance to hear some unreleased jazz music Prince was working on in the weeks before his death.
“Purple Rain” memorabilia dominates one room, including the motorcycle Prince drove in the film, the guitar he played on the soundtrack and the Oscar he won for the score. Another features his Super Bowl halftime performance on a loop, with a reproduction of the tributes fans left outside Paisley Park after he died. Gold records line the hallways and his love symbol pops up everywhere.
Fans who have already toured Paisley Park have offered mostly positive feedback, although there are some kinks that need to be worked out, including clear signage and proper training for tour guides. Organizers are expecting some 600,000 visitors a year, which suggests the problems will be worked out sooner rather than later.
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Paisley Park Tours
“I like Hollywood. I just like Minneapolis a little bit better." - Prince
Tours of Paisley Park range from $48 to $160, with three ticketing options available for the public. Visit the Paisley Park website to learn more or buy your tickets online. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
In this 90-minute guided tour, you will view the main floor of Paisley Park, including the studios where Prince recorded and produced some of his most famous hits. Walk through Prince’s private NPG Music Club and around the massive soundstage and concert hall where the musician rehearsed and held private events and concerts.
*Children under the age of 5 are not permitted on this tour. Purchase Tickets Here
The VIP Experience
This guided tour consists of the same main floor tour offered in the Paisley Experience tour, plus some VIP extras! In this 120-minute visit, guests will get to tour additional rooms and studio areas, view bonus artifacts from the archives and receive an exclusive photo opportunity.
*Children under the age of 10 are not permitted on this tour. Purchase Tickets Here
The Ultimate Experience
The 3-hour “Ultimate Experience” tour includes the VIP Experience plus exclusive access to additional spaces and exhibits. As a more immersive way for fans to tour, please note that the Ultimate Experience often sells out. This tour includes access to studios A, B and C, a private screening of exclusive footage in the editing suite, a special audio playback session and access to archives not available on the two other tours. Light beverages are served at the conclusion of the tour.
Where is Paisley Park?
Paisley Park is located at 7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota , a 30-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis.
Events at Paisley Park
Paisley Park regularly holds Prince-themed events, as well as concerts, dance parties and more. Public events are listed here . Paisley Park also rents space in the facility for private events. Learn more about event rentals .
Where to Stay Near Paisley Park
Check out nearby hotels in the west metro area !
Want More Prince? Experience Prince's Minneapolis!
As a Minneapolis native, Prince lived in various places around the city, frequented and performed at music venues, and shopped at a one-of-a-kind music store. Minneapolis helped shape Prince into the man and the artist he became, and in return, Prince forever left his mark on the city. Even as Prince’s success swept the globe, he always remained close to his roots. Experience Prince’s Minneapolis self-guided tours and celebrate his memory in the best ways possible!
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