Will Elvis' impersonators soon be banned from marrying in Las Vegas for big money stories?

Will Elvis’ impersonators soon be banned from marrying in Las Vegas for big money stories?


The capital of gambling and expedition weddings is known for its celebrations organized by emulators of the rocker. But right holders are claiming their share of the business.

Banana-haired black-haired, red-haired, glittery, colorful sequins . So much so that they are part of the city’s heritage. But the company that manages the rights of the late “King” does not make sense and has added chapels with the theme of Elvis and his imagery to cease operations or comply.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which took control of Elvis Presley’s property rights in 2013sent letters of formal notice last month, prompting the raising of shields by impersonators, chapel owners and the mayor of Las Vegas in person.

“Elvis Presley has long lived in Las Vegas and his name has become synonymous with marriage in Las Vegas.”Jason Whaley, president of the city’s wedding chamber, which represents this thriving industry, told AFP. “The Vegas Wedding Chamber shares the concerns of many chapels and impersonators whose survival is at stake, especially as many of them are still trying to recover financially from the hardships caused by the Covid closures.”he explains.

Wedding in Vegas, a big business

ABG apologized on Thursday for the initiative, noting that the group supported Elvis fans. “We are sorry that recent communication with a small number of chapels has created confusion and concern. That was never our intention. ”, the company said in a statement to AFP. Artists reproducing his works, look-alikes, chapels and fan clubs, “Each of his bands helps keep Elvis in tune with new generations of fans”she continues.

On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that ABG had offered the chapels concerned to continue their activities as part of financial “partnerships,” such as annual franchises. “Their solution is to pay $ 20,000 a year to continue doing what we’ve been doing for nine years.”says Kayla Collins, co-owner of LasVegasElvisWeddingChapel.com and Little Chapel of the Hearts. “It wasn’t on the table a few days ago.” Frankly, I think bringing the case to the public square made them think. ”she believes.

Elvis-themed weddings or celebrations by the singer’s impersonators have been a lucrative activity in Las Vegas since the 1970’s. Elvis in the Viva Las Vegas Chapel aboard a 1964 pink Cadillac convertible.

According to the Las Vegas Wedding Chamber, the industry has annual sales of $ 2.5 billion. Harry Shahoian, one of dozens of Las Vegas-based Elvis impersonators, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had officiated “all day Sunday, 22 ceremonies.” The company that owns the singer’s rights is already anticipating the success of the biopic dedicated to the artist’s life: Elvis which will be released on June 22 in France.

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