The Elvis Presley Shrine (Aspen Mountain)
According to an article in the Aspen Times Weekly newspaper ("Find your Shrine on Ajax" by Kimberly Nicoletti, February 18, 2006, https://www.aspentimes.com/news/find-your-shrine-on-ajax/ the Elvis Presley Shrine was the very first shrine ever erected on Aspen Mountain. However, the article does not state who installed the shrine or when. Likewise, according to an article ("Monumental" by Anita Rosenberg, see http://www.anitarosenberg.com/pdfs/writings-by/aspenpeak.pdf) in the Summer/Fall 2006 issue of AspenPeak magazine, the Elvis Presley shrine was the first shrine on Aspen Mountain, but no details are provided. It is generally considered by locals that this was the first Aspen Shrine, but supporting evidence on this point is needed; if you have something, please send to the author at email@example.com.
The shrine includes the famous photo of Elvis with President Nixon in the Oval Office (taken December 21, 1970), a Tennessee license plate (“1-Elvis”), another license plate that says “That’s Rock N Roll—Elvis”, a green and white street sign that says “Elvis Presley Blvd”, a Tow Away sign that says “No parking any time except Elvis fans”, and various other photos and items.
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977), sometimes written Aron, was an American singer, musician and actor. He is a cultural icon, often known as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", or simply "The King". Presley began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop. To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four music halls of fame. In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies—mainly poorly reviewed musicals. In 1968, he returned to live music in a television special and thereafter performed across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music. Health problems plagued Presley in later life which, coupled with a punishing tour schedule and addiction to prescription medication, led to his premature death at age 42.
One interesting and unique thing about the Elvis Shrine is that it is one of the few shrines to have been shown on any official Aspen/Snowmass trail map. For a number of years it has been shown on the trail map for children which is called the "Kids' Mountain Guide."
See the article set out in full below, by David Wood in the February 29, 2012 issue of the Snowmass Sun newspaper, "The Elvis Presley Shrine--possibly the first?"
See this March 27, 2013 article "Can you find Elvis, John Denver & Hunter S. Thompson at Aspen/Snowmass?" by Amanda Rae, http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/584531/can-you-find-elvis--john-denver---hunter-s--thompson-at-aspen-snowmass-, and also this article of the same date, "Aspen/Snowmass Tree Shrines: Elvis Presley Shrine" also by Amanda Rae, http://www.onthesnow.com/news/a/584537/aspen-snowmass-tree-shrines--elvis-presley-shrine.
For a panoramic/360 degree photo of the Elvis Presley Shrine, see: http://www.aspenportrait.com/jerry-garcia-shrine/presley.html This photo was taken in 2005.
For one of the earliest known photos of the Elvis Presley Shrine, see the October 1995 issue of Snow Country magazine. Click the link and scroll down to page 20. http://books.google.com/books?id=s9KTCEzxVNIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. Many thanks to Steve Mullin for this! (Also see below for this photo, which is by Gregg Adams.)
"SHRINE SHIHAN" Tim Mooney conducts a tour of four of the Aspen Mountain Shrines in this Aspen 82 video (2:56): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmavvFwzQvc. "Aspen Mountain | Shrine Tour part 1." Included in this part 1 tour are these Shrines: Raoul Wille, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and John Denver.
A photo of the Elvis Presley Shrine appears in the November 2016 issue of SKI magazine, on page 77; see the photo section below.
This August 10, 2017 Culture Trip article mentions the Elvis Presley Shrine, calling it one of the most impressive Elvis Shrines in the United States: https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/the-most-impressive-elvis-shrines-in-the-united-states/
A plaque in one of the Silver Queen gondola cars on Aspen Mountain states that "Elvis Presley Boulevard started out with a street sign from Memphis that was nailed to a tree on a traverse. Fans soon began adding Elvis paraphernalia to the tree--pictures, Mardi Gras beads, a Tennessee license plate and more. The King's birthday (January 8) is celebrated at the shrine each year." A photo of this plaque is below. For an Aspen Daily News article of December 23, 2006 about these plaques, see this link: https://www.aspendailynews.com/aspen-history-is-now-part-of-the-ride/article_0ca39f02-d521-5678-ab68-1bf83046ee5d.html (Rachel Goddard designed the layout and compiled the historical facts and photographs for the placards which are featured in all of the 147 gondola cars at Ajax.
The Elvis Presley Shrine is on Aspen Mountain. Photos of it are below.
If you have any photos of or information about this item that you would like to share for use on this page, please send to the author at AspenShrines@aol.com.
This shrine is covered in the book, "Sanctuaries in the Snow--The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass." The book may be purchased on this page on this site: http://www.aspensnowmassshrines.com/index.php?The-Book
Click on images to enlarge.
Below is an article by David Wood about the Elvis Presley Shrine that appeared in the Snowmass Sun newspaper.
The Elvis Presley Shrine — possibly the first?
Snowmass Sun, February 29, 2012
There is a difference of opinion as to whether the Elvis Presley Shrine or the Jerry Garcia Shrine was the first shrine on Aspen Mountain.
According to an article in the Aspen Times Weekly newspaper from Feb. 18, 2006 titled “Find your Shrine on Ajax” by Kimberly Nicoletti, the Elvis Presley Shrine was the first shrine erected on Aspen Mountain. The same thing was said in an article by Anita Rosenberg in the Summer or Fall of 2006 issue of AspenPeak magazine. A placard in one of the Silver Queen gondola cars at Aspen states that “Elvis Presley Boulevard started out with a street sign from Memphis that was nailed to a tree on a traverse.
Fans soon began adding Elvis paraphernalia to the tree — pictures, Mardi Gras beads, a Tennessee license plate and more. The King's birthday (Jan. 8) is celebrated at the shrine each year.” Rachel C. Goddard/Roberts designed the layout and compiled the historical facts and photographs for these placards which are featured in all of the 147 gondola cars at Ajax.
One of the other placards states, “The shrine in honor of Grateful Dead front-man Jerry Garcia, created in the early 1970s, is believed to be the first. The Elvis shrine began as a way-finding sign someone put in the trees on Back of Bell in order to find their way back to the lift.”
Presley died in 1977 and Garcia in 1995. It's known that Paul Wade started the Jerry Garcia Shrine in 1995-96. It is not known who installed the Elvis Presley Shrine, or when.
Presley's shrine includes the famous photo of him with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office taken Dec. 21, 1970, a Tennessee license plate that states “1-Elvis”, another license plate that states “That's Rock-N-Roll — Elvis”, a green and white street sign that states “Elvis Presley Blvd.”, a “tow-away” sign that states “No parking any time except Elvis fans,” and various other photos and items.
One unique thing about the Elvis Presley Shrine is that it is one of the few shrines to have been shown on any official Aspen and Snowmass trail map. For a number of years its location has been shown on the trail map for children which is called the “Kids' Mountain Guide.”
David Wood (AspenShrines@aol.com) is the author of the best-selling book about the Aspen shrines, Sanctuaries in the Snow — The Shrines and Memorials of Aspen/Snowmass. He donates all of his profits from book sales to a local charity, The Trashmasters Scholarship Fund. The book can be purchased in Snowmass Village at Snowmass Sports, the Stew Pot, Sundance Liquor and Gifts, the Village Market, and 81615, as well as at various locations in Aspen.