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Paisley Park invites tourists for 3 days

Associated Press Associated Press 5/10/2016 Jeff Baenen

Prince's suburban Minneapolis estate and studio complex, Paisley Park, will open to the public after all this week, but only under a temporary permit while officials work out concerns about public safety and traffic.

Under the permit, the Paisley Park museum will be open for tours from Thursday - the originally announced opening day - to Saturday and October 14, Paisley Park said in a statement.

But the full-time operation of the museum may not happen until December. On Monday, the Chanhassen City Council indefinitely postponed voting on a rezoning request by the trust company overseeing the late star's estate for the complex to be operated as a museum and said on Tuesday that it'll come before the council for another vote ``on or before'' December 20.

Museum officials knew the risks of selling tickets prior to approval of Bremer Trust's request, according to a statement from the city of Chanhassen. Paisley Park said it is also in discussions with the Mall of America on an exhibition of Prince artifacts and costumes, which will be open to ticket holders.

Katie Louden, 30, of nearby Chaska, has $US100 ($A131) VIP tickets for her and a friend to tour Paisley Park on October 14. She said the snag will be an inconvenience for fans who'd planned holidays around touring the museum.

``I don't understand why this became an issue three days before Paisley Park is supposed to open. They announced it was going to be a museum months ago. You would think some of these concerns would have come up then,'' Louden said.

Prince died in April of an accidental painkiller overdose at Paisley Park, the 65,000-square-foot studio complex where he lived. Graceland Holdings, which runs Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, is managing the museum.

During Monday night's meeting, city council members cited traffic and safety issues. Councilwoman Bethany Tjornhom said the community of 24,000 on the southwest edge of the Twin Cities area needs time to consider whether it wants to be a ``tourist town'' and host an anticipated 600,000 visitors a year, the Star Tribune reported.

The city's statement says Chanhassen's mayor, city council and staff will continue working with Bremer Trust to address all concerns and that the application, and any changes, will come before the council.

The tours were planned to include the studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits; the soundstage where he rehearsed for tours and hosted exclusive private concerts; and displays of artifacts including costumes, awards and instruments plus rare music and video recordings.

Only a handful of fans were walking the fence outside Paisley Park on Tuesday morning. The purple balloons, pictures and other memorabilia left on the chain-link fence since Prince's death have been removed.

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