Paisley Park opens for limited number of public tours

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Paisley Park atrium. Photo courtesy of Paisley Park NPG Records. 

Paisley Park, Prince’s iconic recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, opened to the public for the first time Thursday.

Public tours of the new Paisley Park museum began on Thursday morning. A limited number of tours will be held at Paisley Park on Oct. 6, 8 and 14, following the City of Chanhassen’s decision to grant a temporary permit to open the museum on those days.

READ MORE: Paisley Park opening put on hold by Chanhassen City Council

"It's really an emotional day today,” Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Paisley Park Management, said at a press conference. “It's really amazing we've been working for the last two months to open up Paisley Park to the public. It's something Prince did, he continued to do and what he wanted to do."

Tickets for all three tour dates are sold out, Weinshanker said. He says several thousand people will tour the 65,000 square foot recording studio on opening day alone.

“This is going to be a place not only for the existing fans, but also for new fans to discover Prince,” Weinshanker said.

The museum is run by the same company that operates Graceland. Paisley Park officials say each room of the museum has a different theme. Some of the rooms were redone for the museum, while others still look exactly the way they did when Prince lived there.

“Prince really was an amazing artist,” Weinshanker, who is also a Prince fan, said. “There is no other place in the world like Paisley Park.”

Fans gave the tour, and the museum, rave reviews. The hour-long general admission tour starts in the main atrium, where guests said Paisley Park staff explained some of the paintings in the entryway.

“You walk in and Prince’s eyes are looking down at you. It’s really cool,” Chrys Skluzacek, 44, of Montgomery, Minnesota, told Fox 9. Skluzacek was one of a number of fans dressed in purple for the tour.

But, what came as a shock to some fans was a replica of Paisley Park that sits in the entryway, which staff told them now contains some of Prince’s ashes.

“We’re all like, ‘Oh, Prince is here.’ And, it just got silent and everyone stood around and some people had tears in their eyes. It was very moving,” Skluzacek said.  “I wasn’t expecting that. It was cool.”

Paisley Park officials say they are expanding the capacity of tours and extending the hours of the museum on those days to include guests with tickets for Oct. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15.

Paisley Park officials are hopeful they can arrange additional temporary permit dates for guests who have tickets for October 16 and beyond at Paisley Park and will keep guests updated.