Upcoming plans for Paisley Park tours

Tours at Paisley Park are set to begin in a couple weeks, but just how it's all going to work still needs to be figured out.

- Paisley Park is just a couple of weeks from opening its door to the public for tours. But some residents are worried how increased traffic and limited parking will affect their community.

Graceland Holdings, which will operate the facility, says staff is in the process of preserving and archiving all of Prince's music, clothes and instruments so they can be put on display.

"Each room will be thematic. Different stages of his career. The soundstage has different small stages that show different pieces of his career. We'll show you live videos that were recently discovered within the last week that no one has ever seen before," CEO Joel Soden said.

Soden says the main entrance will be moved to the south to avoid traffic backing up onto Highway 5. The north and south parking lots will also be connected to allow more on-site parking.

Staff will use shuttles to bring visitors in from other locations during peak times and days.

Soden says in the future, the round unfinished studio building could become a boutique hotel.

They are in the process of replacing the chain link fence with a solid one to increase security and discourage people from putting momentos on it.

"We've actually saved every momento that people put on the walls. Once we open, we're asking the fans to not put those up anymore," Soden said.

At Tuesday night's Chanhassen Planning Commission meeting, about two dozen people showed up to learn more about the project.

About half voiced concerns about traffic or parking.

"I think the days just to be off on Thanksgiving and Christmas to be closed is excessive. I think the hours 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. are excessive," neighbor Shirley McGee said.

Another neighbor brought up the possibility of putting in a pedestrian bridge over Highway 5 to make it safer and easier for visitors to walk from the museum to downtown Chanhassen.

But Susan Schmidt, the director of the Small World Learning Center, which is Paisley Park's closest neighbor, says the museum is a great way to pay tribute to him.

"The only concern I would have is [visitors] parking in our parking lot. Other than that, I'm not concerned at all," said Schmidt in her parking lot before the meeting.

The planning commission voted 6-0 to approve rezoning Paisley Park to allow it to include a museum.

The recommendation now goes to the full City Council for a vote on October 3. If it passes, tours start October 6.


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