Decision expected next month in legal dispute over Elvis show

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John Locher/ AP In this April 23, 2015, image, a female trips an Elvis exhibition on the first day of “Graceland Provides Elvis: The Exhibition, The Program, The Experience” at Westgate Las Vegas. Numerous Elvis Presley artifacts and memorabilia are still being held by the gambling establishment, a year after the King’s estate filed a lawsuit to get those prized possessions back.

Thursday, April 20, 2017|2 a.m.

Hundreds of Elvis Presley artifacts and souvenirs are still being held by Westgate Las Vegas, a year after the King’s estate filed a suit to get those valuables back from a brief display.

Westgate Chief Operating Officer Mark Waltrip stated Wednesday that the items– including phase clothing, fashion jewelry and letters, to name a few artifacts from the profession, home and wedding event of Elvis– remain locked up at the gambling establishment site where the now-shuttered “Graceland Provides Elvis” tourist attraction once stood.

The disagreement stems from the 10-year leasing contract that Westgate alleges the exhibit defaulted on when it left the off-Strip casino space.

A judge ruled in Might 2016 that Elvis Presley Enterprises, which runs the Graceland destination in Memphis, Tennessee, might get them back by publishing a $9 million bond while the leasing problem was pending.

All parties rather consented to take the case into arbitration. Waltrip stated a judge’s decision is expected in the next month.

The Presley estate didn’t return calls and e-mails looking for comment.

Westgate took control of the items in February 2016 when the attraction, which included a museum exhibition, wedding event chapel and theater, closed down. The operator abruptly announced it was giving up, a move the casino recommended was caused by poor attendance and poor marketing and marketing efforts.

Westgate at the time likewise said that the display was defaulting on its lease. The gambling establishment said it spent millions of dollars equipping the area and was holding the items to recoup loan owed as part of the leasing arrangement.

The estate responded by submitting the lawsuit to obtain the products that it stated Westgate aggressively took without a genuine legal basis.

The attraction was open less than a year but had debuted with excellent fanfare in the exact same gambling establishment where Elvis carried out several hundred programs, back when it was referred to as the Las Vegas Hilton and The International. It was billed as the largest screen of Elvis memorabilia outside of his renowned Graceland.

The Las Vegas destination included a 28,000-square-foot exhibit that featured a turning display of Elvis products, consisting of the $1 million-a-year tablecloth contract that Elvis inked to carry out at exactly what is now the Westgate and the two-piece black tunic and single-button black suit that he used for his first performances there. There was also an Elvis Presley wedding chapel on website, which was featured on NBC’s “Today Program” when it hosted its very first event with the King’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, as the bride-to-be’s surprise matron-of-honor.

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