Oct 06, 2016

    Prince's studio tours put on hold amid congestion fears


    PRINCE'S closely-guarded studio complex in Minnesota has delayed plans to welcome legions of fans, with officials granting only temporary permits on three dates starting tomorrow.

    The late Purple Rain star's state-of-the-art studio was set to open with tours this week, but local officials in Chanhassen, a suburb of Minneapolis, delayed their approval for turning the complex into a museum.

    In a meeting that lasted more than three hours on Tuesday, some local residents said they were concerned that the estimated 600,000 fans expected to visit the studio-turned-museum each year would create traffic jams and congestion in the town of 24,000.

    Said Chanhassen City Councilwoman Bethany Tjornhom: "That's something we need to talk about as a community: Do we want to be a tourist town?"

    Members of the council asked the Bremer Trust, which controls Paisley Park on behalf of Prince's estate, to come up with a more detailed plan for addressing the impact of a major tourism draw.

    The trust announced a compromise with the council for fans who had been looking forward to entering the complex this week.

    The studio will now open tomorrow, on Saturday and on the following Friday, Oct 14.

    Ticket-holders scheduled for tours on dates up to Oct 15 were encouraged to come on the three available days instead, or receive a refund.

    "Paisley Park is also in discussions with the Mall of America to host an exhibition of Prince artifacts and wardrobe, which we anticipate opening by early next week.

    "This exhibition will be available to all ticket holders," a statement said, referring to the large shopping complex near Minneapolis.

    Prince's studio has held a mythical status for fans, who have had only limited access to parts of it during his life.

    A lucky few hundred are said to have toured it.

    Prince died on April 21 from an overdose of painkillers. He was 57.