Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015|11:33 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach enjoys household time in La Jolla, Calif., after returning to the United States from his yearly Italian journeys, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their words of wisdom. We continue today, as Elvis Presley fans prepare to honor the death of the King of Rock-and-roll on Sunday, with Kevin Kern at “Elvis: The Exhibit” at Westgate Las Vegas.
As an 11-year worker of Elvis Presley Enterprises, my profession focuses on keeping the King of Rock-and-roll’s tradition and his Memphis mansion Graceland in the spotlight– at Graceland and beyond.
April marked an expansion when we opened our very first permanent Elvis exhibition and official wedding chapel outside Memphis. Found at Westgate Las Vegas, “Elvis: The Exhibition” informs the story of a man who would be called King and his meteoric increase to fame, and artifacts from the family’s archives give visitors a front-row seat to the Elvis story and rock and roll.
So why did we choose Las Vegas? Las Vegas played a pivotal role in Elvis’ career and life, and occasionally we joke that exactly what occurs in Vegas began at Graceland. It’s not only where he married Priscilla in 1967, it’s the destination where he shattered box office records by carrying out more than 630 sold-out programs throughout a seven-year residency from 1969 to 1976.
And what better location to open our very first long-term exhibition than the extremely building where he took the stage by storm? While we call it Westgate Las Vegas today, the hotel was previously the International, the place Elvis called home in Sin City.
Now that you know why Las Vegas holds an unique place in our hearts at Graceland, I want to show you remarkable stories behind five of the rarest and most special artifacts hand-selected by our team for “Elvis”:
Tablecloth Agreement: After Elvis’ first performance at the International in 1969, his supervisor Col. Tom Parker renegotiated his residency in the hotel coffee bar, now Sid’s Cafe.
Parker and hotel officers composed the agreement onto the table linen accepting a deal that totaled up to $1 million annually for 5 years. The table linen contract with Elvis, Parker and the execs’ signatures is on display in the Las Vegas display today, coffee stains and all.
Elvis’ First Jumpsuit: Jumpsuits are synonymous with Las Vegas, and individuals might unknown that the first one-piece Elvis ever put on was onstage right here.
After carrying out at the International for one year, Elvis asked outfit designer Costs Belew to produce an outfit that would enable him more flexibility to perform his signature karate kicks and hip sways onstage.
After the first– white with gold embellishments– each of Elvis’ 110 matches was more extravagant and flashy than the next. The first, in addition to plenty of others, is on display at the exhibit.
World Championship Attendance Record Belt: After completing 57 programs at the International, Elvis had actually already broken all existing world attendance records entertaining more than 130,000 fans in one month and producing more than $1.5 million in ticket sales alone.
On Aug. 28, 1969, the International presented Elvis with the World Champion Attendance Record Belt, an excessive, silver-and-gold-plated belt studded with diamonds, sapphires and rubies weighing roughly 35 pounds. The belt, which Elvis wore to satisfy President Richard Nixon, is a spectacular part of the exhibition.
1971 Prototype Stutz Blackhawk: The very first Stutz Blackhawk ever sold was to none besides Elvis. Frank Sinatra also was interested in the smooth black luxury vehicle, however Elvis’ quote triumphed, and the 1971 prototype was provided to Elvis at the International.
It became his favorite auto of the almost 200 he bought in his lifetime and is presently on screen close to his 1957 Harley and Priscilla’s 1962 Lincoln Continental.
Priscilla Presley’s Opening Night Dress: Designed by Elvis’ costume designer Belew, Priscilla’s striking outfit she wore on the opening night of Elvis’ very first show at the International is consisted of in the exhibition. The fuchsia-and-orange brocade floor-length gown with mink cuffs features beaded information.
An Elvis fan, music lover or history buff, this exhibit has something for everyone. The amazing artifacts from the vaults of the Graceland Archives on display make certain to not only impress, however likewise inform visitors about Elvis’ eternal connection to Las Vegas.
Long live the King.
Make certain to check out our other guest column today from Las Vegas vegan princess Stephanie Prather and 10 Questions with bestselling hometown author Wayne Allyn Root on his brand-new book “Unrelenting.” On Thursday, our guest writers are Rob Lyons of “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s, magician Murray Sawchuck’s homeless pets charity and Shannon McCallum’s tour of Aria’s luxury suites.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & & Famous” popularity has actually been a journalist for more than 50 years and has actually invested the previous 15 years providing readers the within scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/ Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Home entertainment + Luxury Elder Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ VDLXEditorDon.
Westgate Las Vegas & & Gambling establishment As the location where Elvis Presley broke all Vegas program attendance records when it was still called the International Hotel, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & & Casino is a time capsule of classic Vegas. Its name changed from the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & & Casino in early 2012. While the sensation is conventional, the hotel has actually just recently spent millions in remodellings. From the visitor spaces to the pool deck, all surface areas were redesigned. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling of the 74,000 square-foot casino, where there is high limitation slots. Simply off from the gambling establishment, there is the world’s biggest race and sports book, the SuperBook, including 350 seats, 28 giant screens highlighted with an enormous 15′ x 20′ screen for a grand overall of more than 60 seeing monitors. The dining choices at the home variety from the prize-winning Benihana, a Japanese steakhouse, to The Buffet, where visitors can enjoy the large selection of options. After supper, visitors can take advantage of the star-studded home entertainment. The hotel also makes it hassle-free to casino-hop as one of the stops on the Las Vegas Monorail.
3000 Paradise Road Las Vegas, NV 89109