Westgate still holding Elvis Presley products looked for by estate


John Locher/ AP In this April 23, 2015, photo, a female trips an Elvis exhibit on the very first day of “Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition, The Program, The Experience” at Westgate Las Vegas. Hundreds of Elvis Presley artifacts and memorabilia are still being held by the casino, a year after the King’s estate submitted a suit 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 submitted a claim to obtain those belongings back from a brief exhibition.

Westgate Chief Operating Officer Mark Waltrip stated Wednesday that the products– consisting of stage outfits, precious jewelry and letters, among other artifacts from the career, house and wedding of Elvis– stay secured at the gambling establishment site where the now-shuttered “Graceland Provides Elvis” destination as soon as stood.

The dispute stems from the 10-year leasing arrangement that Westgate declares the exhibit defaulted on when it left the off-Strip casino space.

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

All celebrations instead consented to take the case into arbitration. Waltrip said a judge’s decision is anticipated in the next month.

The Presley estate didn’t return calls and emails looking for remark.

Westgate took control of the items in February 2016 when the attraction, which included a museum display, wedding event chapel and theater, closed down. The operator quickly revealed it was stopping, a relocation the gambling establishment suggested was triggered by poor attendance and bad marketing and marketing efforts.

Westgate at the time also said that the exhibition was defaulting on its lease. The casino said it invested countless dollars equipping the space and was holding the products to recoup money owed as part of the leasing contract.

The estate reacted by filing the suit to retrieve the items that it stated Westgate strongly took without a legitimate legal basis.

The tourist attraction was open less than a year however had debuted with great fanfare in the exact same casino where Elvis carried out several hundred shows, back when it was referred to as the Las Vegas Hilton and The International. It was billed as the largest display screen of Elvis memorabilia outside of his well known Graceland.

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

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