Well, gang, Elvis is back where he belongs. The place he had fun in. The building he helped to actually pay for, when it was built and he was asked to be a part of its future. That occurred in 1969! And, as I’m sure you have heard the new owner of the hotel once named the “International,” “Las Vegas Hilton,” “LVH,” and now “The Westgate,” are bringing those glory days of Elvis back to the building on Paradise Road.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino announced last week that they will bring the authentic Elvis Presley back to Las Vegas for the first time in 40 years. “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience” will include an expansive, new permanent exhibition featuring hundreds of artifacts never before displayed outside of Graceland, and live entertainment shows that celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley. Graceland Holdings LLC Managing Partner Joel Weinshanker and Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel together made the historic announcement that Elvis will be back in the building, and unveiled specific details of the upcoming exhibition and entertainment, which are scheduled to debut April 23, 2015. The press conference took place on the 46th anniversary of Elvis’ first press event at the construction site of the same venue, then known as the International Hotel, where Elvis performed over 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows.
The first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will encompass over 28,000 square feet and include hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives, showcasing the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. Visitors will experience an unprecedented journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Miss., through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. Graceland-produced videos will immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances.
Some of the rare artifacts include Elvis’ high school yearbooks, his first Gold Album, his 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 1962 Lincoln Continental, 1971 Stutz Blackhawk, jewelry and iconic stage wear from Elvis’ live performances, including the first outfit worn on stage for his first concert at the International Hotel in 1969. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts in the Graceland Archives, to keep the exhibit constantly evolving and fresh. The exhibition will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees, and available for purchase now.
The newly renamed and renovated Elvis Presley International Showroom will present Elvis-themed live shows for limited engagement runs on the very stage where Elvis performed for millions of guests during his record-breaking, seven-year stint from 1969 through 1976. The debut show will be “The Elvis Experience,” a large-scale production replicating one of Elvis’ legendary Las Vegas shows, starring actor Martin Fontaine and featuring 24 musicians and eight choir members portraying the original musicians and artists on stage with Elvis. The Elvis Experience is scheduled to open with the exhibition on April 23 and perform Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and start at $49 plus taxes and fees. After this limited engagement, the property will feature other limited-run, Graceland-produced live shows in the Elvis Presley International Showroom.
Another exciting feature will be the new, “Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel” which will be the first-ever wedding chapel in Las Vegas to be operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises. Additional information on the chapel and special packages will be announced soon. The chapel is also scheduled to open on April 23.
The grand opening of the exhibition, live show and wedding chapel will be marked with a star-studded celebration, with Priscilla Presley joining the roster of VIPs and celebrities on the red carpet. Tickets for the exclusive opening celebration and opening weekend are on sale now.
“Elvis is synonymous with Las Vegas and this property, so we are tremendously excited to have this new attraction and live show here to entertain Las Vegas visitors,” said David Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts. “It is a true honor to join forces with Elvis Presley’s Graceland to bring Elvis to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. We are thrilled to have Elvis back in the building.”
“After a 40 year absence, it’s time for the authentic Elvis Presley to return to Las Vegas,” stated Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings LLC. “Elvis redefined live entertainment in Las Vegas, so there’s no better location for this new venture than the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the very site where more people saw Elvis perform live than anywhere else in the world,” Weinshanker said. “The extensive exhibition, live shows and wedding chapel will together create an unprecedented Elvis experience for visitors.”
To pre-purchase tickets now for the exhibition and live show and for more details, please visit www.Graceland.com/Vegas. For more information or to book accommodations at the new Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, call toll free at (800) 732-7117 or log on to www.westgatevegas.com.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
A good friend of this writer, and a really funny guy, will be downtown performing a special two evenings at the Downtown Grand, as part of its celebrated comedy entertainment offerings. The gig is with legendary comedian Marty Allen, performing at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) on Sunday, March 22 and Monday, March 23 inside The Grand Parlor. Limited to just 100 guests per performance, tickets are priced at $50 each and include $50 in free casino play per ticket, and can be purchased in person at Player Services on the casino floor at Downtown Grand. For more information on tickets, guests can call Concierge Services at (702) 719-5170.
To make a weekend of it, Downtown Grand is offering a special package starting at $139 per couple, including two tickets to the show, one night stay, $50 in dining credit and $50 in free casino play. For reservations, call Downtown Grand at (702) 719-5100.
Fans will also have a chance to win dinner with Marty at Downtown Grand’s award-winning Triple George Grill. Guests must be a “My Points Downtown Grand” casino club member to enter the contest, and will be entered to win with every 93 points earned. Guests may also be entered to win by showing their ticket stub from the show at Player Services. Downtown Grand will draw winners on Sunday, March 22 and Monday, March 23 at the Casino Stage one hour after the show. Five lucky winners will be chosen each night. To become a My Points Downtown Grand casino club member, visit Player Services in the casino.
Following the show, guests can meet and greet with Marty Allen in the casino, where he will be conducting an autograph signing to promote his new book, “Hello Dere”, an autobiography about his remarkable 70-year career in showbiz.
Rock in Rio today announced transportation options for the inaugural Rock in Rio USA music festival taking place May 8-9 and 15-16 in Las Vegas. Working closely with local Las Vegas authorities, Rock in Rio has developed a plan to provide convenient access for festival attendees at a minimal impact to local residents and tourists. With no parking allowed in the area surrounding the venue, attendees are encouraged to arrive each day by the Las Vegas Monorail, shuttle or by those little things at the end of your leg…On foot:
- Las Vegas Monorail – Rock in Rio and the Las Vegas Monorail established a partnership and has developed customized schedules for the Monorail in order to maximize capacity and minimize wait times. For those arriving from other locations on The Strip, the venue is conveniently located a short walk from the SLS Las Vegas and Westgate Las Vegas Monorail stops. The Las Vegas Monorail operates from 7 AM until 3 AM, with options of single ride ($5), 24-hour ($12) and 2-day passes ($22.00), but a temporary discount is available for all multiple day passes from two to seven days on https://tickets.lvmonorail.com/rockinriousa2015/.
- Shuttles – Pre-paid shuttle passes are available, offering attendees a quick, comfortable ride to the event. Shuttles will pick up from three locations: the MGM Resorts Village across from Luxor and Mandalay Bay, the Downtown Events Center and the World Market Center. All Shuttles will drop guests off at the conveniently located Gold Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is a short walk to the venue entrance. Return shuttle service will be available from the Gold Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center to all three pick up locations. Shuttles to the venue will run each day from 2:30 PM until 11 PM, with return service running 10 PM until 2:30 AM. 2-day shuttle passes are available for $25.
- Pedestrian Traffic – For attendees staying within a 15 to 20 minute walking distance of the venue, walking is recommended for venue access. Pedestrian entrances will be easily accessible from Las Vegas Boulevard.
Absolutely no parking will be available at the venue and road closures surrounding the festival will require access by one of the above recommended transportation methods. For Las Vegas Monorail tickets go to https://tickets.lvmonorail.com/rockinriousa2015/ and for shuttle passes visit: http://rockinrio.com/usa/festival-travel-options/
This legendary music festival celebrates its first stateside edition over four days at the City of Rock, a new open-air venue on the Las Vegas Strip. Rock in Rio USA will welcome some of the biggest names in music including Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, Metallica, Linkin Park, No Doubt, Charli XCX, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, and Maná, among others.
Well, gang, that’s about it this week.