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Oh No! Las Vegas Will Never Be The Same

by SharonKurheg

Las Vegas means different things to different people. For some, it’s the gambling – slots, Blackjack, sports book, you name it. For others, it’s the shows – from the Rat Pack and Siegfried & Roy of yesteryear to today’s various Cirque du Soleil and Artist Residency shows. For yet others, it’s the world-renown hotels and their iconic restaurants – Picasso at the Bellagio, Eiffel Tower at the Paris, Mix at Mandalay Bay, you name it.

For some, though, Las Vegas has been the mecca of quick weddings. Sure, some wedding packages in Vegas work on being as legit as can be. But others thrive on the cheesiness that surrounds the entire city. And one of the most popular of those cheesy weddings is an Elvis-themed wedding, complete with an Elvis impersonator in attendance (if not as the officiant).

Unfortunately, that shtick might now be all shook up.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) controls the King’s merchandising rights, as well as trademarks on “Elvis, “Elvis Presley,” “and “The King of Rock and Roll.”  And they’ve just sent cease and desist letters to nearly all of the Elvis-themed wedding chapels in Las Vegas.

The letter told multiple wedding chapels that Elvis weddings were unauthorized in using “Presley’s name, likeness, voice image, and other elements of Elvis Presley’s persona in advertisements, merchandise and otherwise,” and that if they did not stop, they planned to legal action.

Chapel owners voiced concerns to many local TV stations, saying they were simply family-run businesses and this could ruin them. Las Vegas officials say it could destroy a portion of their wedding industry.

But ABG clarified with Billboard that they have no intention of shutting these iconic places down, but they do want them to pay licensing fees. In a statement to Action News, ABG said:

“As the guardians of the Elvis Presley estate, it is our responsibility to safeguard his legacy. This includes ensuring that all products, services and advertisements utilizing Elvis’ name, image or likeness are officially licensed by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

The estate has strong relationships with official Elvis tribute artists, fan clubs and festivals, as well as a robust global network of licensed merchandise partners. There is no intention to shut down chapels that offer Elvis packages in Las Vegas. We are seeking to partner with each of these small businesses to ensure that their use of Elvis’ name, image and likeness are officially licensed and authorized by the estate, so they can continue their operations.

Elvis is embedded into the fabric of Las Vegas history, and we are committed to protecting and expanding his legacy for generations to come.”

So maybe Elvis hasn’t left the building. But wedding chapels that use his name or likeness, including impersonators, will have to pay up if they want him to stay.

I can understand their wanting the chapels to pay royalties; the “Elvis Police” has been running since not long after Presley’s death (and if that’s the case, why did it take almost 45 YEARS for them to catch up with these chapels, anyway?). I just hope that it’s not a huge amount, especially for those small businesses.

Feature Photo: Pxhere

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1 comment

derek June 3, 2022 - 6:05 pm

The Elvis chapels should stop featuring Elvis and feature the same character with a different name, say Frank Priestley.

Reply

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