Local Current Blog

Paisley Park opening likely delayed: Chanhassen City Council tables rezoning

Paisley Park in July 2016 (Jay Gabler/MPR)

A wrench has suddenly been thrown into plans to open Paisley Park to the public this week. The Chanhassen City Council voted tonight to table a motion to rezone Prince’s studio and home for use as a museum, after several residents expressed concerns over safety and traffic and wondered whether this month is generally too soon after Prince’s death to open Paisley Park to the public.

“I think we have one chance to get this right,” said Bethany Tjornhom, one of the three-member majority who voted to table the rezoning. “For our community, being rushed into such a major decision, I just don’t think we’re being good stewards.” MPR News reports that Tjornhom successfully moved to table the rezoning request.

Paisley Park’s planned Thursday opening will now almost certainly be delayed. Fans are already reading the fine print on their tickets, many of which have been sold under the assumption that the venue would be cleared for opening. Possibly as many as 100 staff members have also been hired.

Early Tuesday morning, ticket-buyers received an e-mail reading, “The Chanhassen, Minnesota City Council voted late yesterday to table the measure which would have permitted Paisley Park to open as a museum starting this Thursday, October 6. We will email you with updates very soon.”

An attorney consulting with the Bremer Trust, which is managing Prince’s estate, told MPR News that he thinks “the next steps are to get together with the operator, determine what this means in terms of ticket sales, and moving a starting date out, potentially into the winter months, which we were hoping to avoid.”

The tabling of the motion is a blow to Chanhassen Mayor Denny Laufenburger, who previously issued a statement in support of Paisley Park opening as a museum and was one of the two-member minority voting against tabling tonight’s motion.

Representatives from the Bremer Trust and Graceland addressed the council on Monday, speaking to community concerns about fencing and other matters, and Laufenburger strongly argued for the council to approve the rezoning on Monday. For the moment, at least, a more cautious approach has prevailed.

Update 10/4: The City of Chanhassen has issued a statement about last night’s vote. “Council members cited public safety and traffic concerns, necessary site improvements, and the need for additional information on impacts to the community as reasons for the 3-2 vote to table the issue,” reads the statement in part.

The city promises to work with Paisley Park’s proprietors to “mitigate concerns,” after which “the application, with any changes, will be brought to City Council for another vote on or before December 20, 2016.” The statement adds that “PRN Music Corporation understood the risks of selling tickets prior to City Council approval,” and notes that “the City of Chanhassen has no authority on the sale or refund of tickets for Paisley Park tours.”

Mayor Laufenburger has shared a letter saluting the community for a thoughtful discussion, and reiterating his faith in the venue’s operator. Tellingly, though, the letter adds a caveat: the venue will open “once questions are addressed, and if the PUD [rezoning] is granted.” A work session is planned for next Wednesday — an announcement that seems to close the door on the possibility that Paisley Park will open this week as planned.

Tickets have now been taken off sale on the Paisley Park website. “The Chanhassen, Minnesota City Council voted late yesterday to table the measure which would have permitted Paisley Park to open as a museum starting this Thursday, October 6,” reads a statement at the ticket purchase page. “We will provide more updates soon.”

  • This is your Mom

    Ack. That’s all I’ve got.

  • Grey

    Holy Cow !!! If come all the way up to Minnesota from central Florida and I can’t take my tour , I will not this trip or any future trip spend a single dime within the chanhassen city limits. I have been planning this trip for a few weeks now , checking out local places prince might frequented, I was planning to spend a good part of a day making use of your local bike paths , shopping along the way.
    I understand y the community might have reservations about how quickly this museum is opening, but some folks have already spend hundreds of $’s that is non refundable. We all know the family has a huge tax bill due in the new year. Just let them honor their current commitments ( no tickets have been sold for. After 12/31 ) , then close it up,work out whatever is needed to make a Paisley Park museum and the township of chanhassen bucketlist worthy destination

    • Kris

      Do you know the city of Chanhassen? Do you relize that Paisley Park is situated between 2 day cares & there is no parking except in the Paisley Park lot. Do you know that there is a highway that runs in front of Paisley Park? The actual downtown of the city is not near Paisley. This is not the cities fault as the family did not follow proper procedure. The family is all about chasing the money as fast as they can. This is not about Prince at all. And please do not blame Chanhassen.

      • Grey

        Yes I have been there a few times , I understand that parking might b problematic but that could be solved simply. Having a HWY running in front of PP is a good thing, no need for the city to spend $ to expand the road. I read the press release from the city announcing turning PP into a museum and it sure sounded like they were in favor of the idea.what sort of bohunks ( a term my grandmother in northern Minnesota used often 😀) r running this podunk town. Being in the hospitality industry here in florida I often attend soft openings of attractions both big and small, it’s a great way to work out the bugs. Take the next few week monitor the traffic , find out what works and what doesn’t so come next spring PP can become a great neighbor.
        What do u have against the family making $ , this is America this is what we do best. Prince never shyed away from making a dollar , so y is it now so horrible for estate to raise some cash to help keep his legacy alive for generations to come

        • Kris

          1.)Parking is a MAJOR problem
          2.)If you feel this is a “podunk” town, you have no understanding of it, the people who live there, or the people who run it. Also, if you feel that way, please don’t come. We don’t want you.
          3.) If Prince had intended his family to make money off of his fame, he would have allowed it when he was alive. He would have taken care of them. Instead, he had little to do with them as he understood their motives. $$. Opening Paisley is not about honoring Prince or his fans, allowing musicians to pursue their talents in a state of the art studio. It is about money for the family, the family that Prince had little to do with.

        • Cheri Anderson


      • laytonian

        The family is not in charge; Bremer Trust is. Do your homework.
        The estate has not been settled yet.
        Do you know that the PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVED THIS PROJECT? Have you read any of the documents and looked at what had been done to comply with concerns? The parking lot entrance was moved south and a connector built between that and the previous north entrance (with the north entrance changed to a right-only exit).

        THIS IS AN INDUSTRIAL PARK. There is a huge General Mills facilities two blocks away. What’s traffic like at shift change? In the case of Paisley, you would have traffic purposely spread out during the day to make sure there was only a certain number there at a time — and many would be bused from the Mall.

        • Kris

          Yes, as a citizen of Mpls. I have done plenty of homework & understand exactly what is going on including the logistics of traffic, parking, etc. And yes, I know Bremer Bank is the trustee & that the estate has not been settled. It will take years for the estate to be closed. The concerns are if approval is given to rezone Paisley now,without proper study on all things concerned, that the city is not doing it’s due diligence.

    • Deb

      Looks like you still might be able to make it. At least that’s what Bob Collins just said on-air.

      • Grey

        Thank u that’s great to hear , I’ve been to your lovely community many times and have enjoyed ya’lls hospitality. I’m looking forward to spending time up there and spending a pocket full of cash

  • MPLS Joe


  • Kris

    This insane issue of hurrying to push everything through while ignoring proper procedures is all on the family. They are the ones chasing the money & I will not support anything they do. Their tatics and plans are ill conceived. Do not blame the city or the venues.

    • laytonian

      Stop it. The family is NOT in charge. Bremer Trust is.

      • Kris

        You are very young & naive.

    • Grey

      Again I return to press release from the ” city ” fully endorsing the opening of the park as a tourist attraction. They were aware of what was going on that side of town ,if they had such pressing concerns about safety ( something I don’t understand) they should have been in touch with those in charge well before tickets went on sale.
      ” we don’t want you to come. ” it’s nice to know that u speak for all of he business owners in chanhassen , but I shouldn’t be surprise cuz u seem to think only u know how close prince was with his family , and that only u know what should be done corcerning his legacy

      • Jason

        “City council members tell KARE 11 the Prince trust, which is being administered by Bremer Bank, was ill-prepared to open the museum this week. They said those who were hired to manage and run the Paisley Park tours, PRN Music Corporation, had a serious lack of planning for both traffic and safety.

        Jerry McDonald, longtime council member, said organizers were warned that it would be a risk to sell tour tickets without the city council’s approval.

        “The blame lies with the management. They sold the tickets. The city had nothing to do with selling those tickets. We made it clear up front that this was not a done deal. It’s not just going to be rubber stamped because it’s a Prince museum. And if they want to sell tickets, they did so at their own risk. They understood that,” McDonald said.”

      • Kris

        Please see below. Also, you are the one that insinuated that Chanhassen is a podunk town being run by podunks,not I. Your information is incorrect & incomplete on the total situation. At this point, this is an evolving situation. Until you have complete information, please move on,as I will.

  • Kathy Gaalaas

    Lots of thoughts pro and con but bottom line, the Family will owe the IRS millions due to no will. Theres different focuses for all parties involved. I just wish this vote was made weeks ago so fans could make appropriate plans. Chanhassen is not at fault here. Safety is the first concern and that must be addressed.

  • Kathy Gaalaas
  • Cheri Anderson

    This is a blow to Chanhassen and Minneapolis tourism. The money that will be spent on hotels, restaurants, convenience stores c

  • Elsa1965

    I know a lot of people planned travel based on them selling tickets