Elvis collector Rusty Roberts is looking forward to Wintersun.
Elvis collector Rusty Roberts is looking forward to Wintersun.

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AUSTRALIA'S largest Elvis Presley collection has arrived for Wintersun and its owner is looking for a permanent home for it on the Tweed.

The Elvis Collector, Rusty Roberts, who recently relocated to the Gold Coast, is hoping to find a restaurant or cafe on the Tweed to house his 20,000 items relating to the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

“This is the big life move for me,” the 37-year-old said.

“The Tweed and Gold Coast are huge tourism destinations, and one of the big drawcards in tourism is fantasy.

“Elvis is perfect for tourism because he is not around any more.”

Mr Roberts was yesterday busy setting up his immense collection at the Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads West where it will open this Saturday and run until the end of Wintersun on Monday, June 8.

Mr Roberts said he is hoping to attract the attention of any restaurant, cafe or business on the Tweed or Gold Coast that he could turn into “Graceland”.

“I can see an Elvis-themed restaurant becoming its very own Hard Rock Cafe. It could be a very big thing for the area,” he said.

The collector originally ran a restaurant in the Hunter Valley known as The Elvis Collector Theme Restaurant.

“It was decked out from front to back with everything Elvis,” he said.

“The problem down there though is that we had to rely on locals for support. There was not much of a tourism industry in the area.”

Items in Mr Roberts' collection range from the 1950s memorabilia to products still being made today.

Among the most unusual in his collection are Elvis-related postcards, taffy, aftershave, golf balls, shower curtain, napkins, umbrella, lamp, socks, mouse pad, mugs, soft drink, coffee, books, Pez dispensers, candles, thermometer , doormat, cardboard cut outs, an oven mitt, salt and pepper shakers and board games.

“If you can think of something with Elvis' face on it we have it,” Mr Roberts said.

“I think the best things in the collection are the scrapbooks with old articles and pictures from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Everyone loves them and some people will spend hours reading them.

Mr Roberts said his love for Elvis began when he was a child.

“I've just always wanted it. My parents had the records at home when I was growing up and I've just stuck with him ever since,” he said.

“When I was 12 I had a table at a club with my little Elvis collection; the next year I was back with another table and then another. It just kept growing,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts says Elvis die-hards also like to pick his brain with Elvis trivia.

“I know everything there is to know about Elvis. One of the weirder questions I'm asked is if he is still alive.”

Tweed Tourism general manager Phil Villiers said he enjoys the idea.

“Wintersun is always so popular and it would be great to have an Elvis-themed restaurant all year round,” Mr Villiers said.

Wintersun officially kicks off tomorrow night and will run until Monday, June 8.

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