Elvis marriage ceremony crackdown leaves Las Vegas all shook up

Los Angeles (AFP) – Yearly 1000’s of tourists to Las Vegas can’t lend a hand falling in love — a minimum of lengthy sufficient to get married by way of an Elvis impersonator.

However the corporate that controls the rights to the King’s likeness has sparked outrage in Sin Town by way of cracking down marriage ceremony chapels providing Elvis-themed nuptials.

Unique Manufacturers Crew, which purchased a controlling stake in Elvis Presley’s property in 2013, ultimate month despatched cease-and-desist letters to corporations providing the kitschy weddings.

The transfer prompted offended responses from Elvis impersonators, chapel homeowners, or even the mayor of Las Vegas, who known as for a little bit extra open dialog — and no more criminal motion — from the gang. 

“Elvis Presley lengthy known as Las Vegas his house and his identify has grow to be synonymous with Las Vegas weddings,” Jason Whaley, president of the Las Vegas Wedding ceremony Chamber of Trade, informed AFP.

“The Vegas Wedding ceremony Chamber stocks a priority that lots of our chapels and impersonators livelihoods are being centered, particularly as many are nonetheless looking to recuperate financially from the hurdles all of us persisted with Covid shutdowns.”

ABG on Thursday apologized for its preliminary way, announcing it was once dedicated to protective Presley’s legacy.

“We’re sorry that contemporary communique with a small collection of Las Vegas primarily based chapels led to confusion and worry. That was once by no means our purpose,” the corporate mentioned in a observation to AFP.

“We’re running with the chapels to make certain that using Elvis’ identify, symbol and likeness are in step with his legacy.”

It added: “From tribute artists and impersonators to chapels and fan golf equipment, each this type of teams lend a hand to stay Elvis related for brand spanking new generations of enthusiasts.”

However an afternoon previous, the Las Vegas Evaluate-Magazine reported that ABG was once now providing chapels monetary “partnerships,” together with annual licensing offers to proceed industry as same old.

“This is their answer, to pay $20,000 a 12 months to do what we’ve been doing for the previous 9 years,” mentioned Kayla Collins, co-owner of the Las Vegas Elvis Wedding ceremony Chapel.

“This was once no longer at the desk a couple of days in the past. Frankly, I feel this factor going to the general public has modified their minds.”

The transfer comes weeks earlier than the discharge of Baz Luhrmann’s new big-screen biopic “Elvis” — a large-scale Warner Bros manufacturing anticipated to spice up hobby within the singer.

Elvis-themed weddings were a profitable industry in Las Vegas for the reason that Nineteen Seventies.

Applications nowadays run as prime as $1,600 for the Elvis Purple Caddy Luxurious Fashion Wedding ceremony Bundle, which provides {couples} the risk to be pushed up the aisle of the Viva Las Vegas Wedding ceremony Chapel by way of Elvis in a 1964 red Cadillac convertible.

Weddings are a $2.5 billion trade in Las Vegas, in keeping with the Wedding ceremony Chamber of Trade.

However whilst Elvis musical tribute acts are freely allowed below Nevada legislation, companies the use of Presley’s likeness merely to draw exposure and consumers aren’t secure.

Harry Shahoian, considered one of dozens of Elvis impersonators within the town, who officiates on the Graceland Wedding ceremony Chapel in Las Vegas, informed the Evaluate-Magazine that folks simply “like to be married by way of Elvis.”

“I did the entire day Sunday, 22 ceremonies. I’ve accomplished greater than 30 in someday, 100 in per week, all of the ones Elvis-themed.”

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