Elvis Presley – Back in the Building After 40 Years
In a town full of Elvis wanna-be’s, it’s hard to believe that it has been 40 years since the legend crooned “Love me Tender” to a Vegas crowd. And in the interest of paying tribute to the city that Elvis loved, Priscilla Presley is allowing the Westgate to open an exhibition at the Westgate. This is a major coupe, and the first time the items on display have been seen anywhere outside of Graceland.
Elvis and the Westgate
Elvis had a 7 year love affair with the Westgate Resort starting in 1969 when he performed 58 consecutive sold out shows. He continually broke his own records over the next 3 years, living in a penthouse on the 30th floor. His last performance at the Westgate was in 1976, one year before his untimely death.
To commemorate the legend and his impact on the hotels early success, the Westgate is unveiling a new Elvis Presley Graceland Wedding Chapel, an exclusive rotating exhibition of the Presley family’s most treasured memorabilia, and a nightly show titled “The Elvis Experience”.
The New Elvis Chapel
If you want to get married in the only chapel officially endorsed by the Presley estate, don’t expect any red velvet, or even an Elvis look-a-like to perform the ceremony. Priscilla Presley has publicly declared that this is a first class chapel, and will not support the tacky image that many have of her late husband. She has also agreed to act as matron of honor to the first couple to be wed there on April 23rd. This date marks the 59th anniversary of the King’s first ever Las Vegas performance, and the official opening of the new exhibition that immortalizes his life and career.
The Graceland Exhibition
Since his death, the only place on the planet you could see artifacts and memorabilia from Elvis’ life was at his Graceland Mansion outside of Memphis. Sharing it with the Westgate is a big deal for the hotel and the family, who has sent over treasures like Elvis’ high school yearbooks, recording contracts and even a car. There will be video available to view, including a montage of some of his most memorable performances. Hundreds of items will fill the 28,000 square foot venue and will be rotated with regularly with other items from the mansion. Tickets are $22, and the exhibition is going to be open daily from 10 to 10.
The Elvis Experience
On the same stage where the King once reigned, actor Martin Fontaine and a crew of 32 will re-enact an Elvis concert from the early 1970’s. This acclaimed stage show will take the older crowd right back to vintage Vegas while giving the young’uns a chance to experience it for the first time. The show debuts the same day as the chapel and exhibition, with tickets for The Elvis Experience starting at $49.
The Brits may have their globe-trotting princes, but Vegas had the King, and for most of his career he reigned over the strip with swinging hips and an unforgettable voice. Sharing his memory with the town that embraced him is very generous of his family, and a much appreciated gesture for fans from all over the world.