MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — For rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena, New York comes first. Next are Graceland and Las Vegas.
Pena is set to arrive in New York on Thursday to attend Sunday’s New York City Marathon after officials invited him. Word is the triathlete wants to run it.
The 34-year-old Pena’s trip to New York also will include a scheduled appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Thursday evening.
But the star treatment won’t end there.
On Wednesday, Elvis Presley Enterprises said Pena accepted an invitation to Graceland, set for Jan. 6 to Jan. 9, which coincides with the anniversary of Elvis’s birthday on Jan. 8, 1935. Pena will get a private tour of the mansion and Elvis’ grave, and will visit the exhibits across the street.
After that, he will be flown to Las Vegas to watch “Viva Elvis,” the Cirque du Soleil show based on Elvis’ music.
Pena is an Elvis fan who reportedly jogged to his music and conducted sing-alongs while trapped underground for 69 days with 32 fellow miners in Chile. Their saga and rescue last month earned worldwide attention.
When Elvis Presley Enterprises heard Pena was a fan, it sent various gifts to Chile, including a picture, DVDs, CDs, a book and sunglasses. “Viva Las Vegas” and “Jailhouse Rock,” were among the movies.
Both the Las Vegas and Graceland trips are on the house, with the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Delta Airlines helping with the tab. The visit to Memphis will include a stay at The Peabody Hotel and the chance to try Memphis’ famous barbecue.