Westgate Las Vegas… A “King’s Ransom!”
Please dim the lights and strike the opening notes to Also Sprach Zarathursta (Space Odyssey theme). This powerful opus created an almost supernatural atmosphere as it filled the entirety of the completely darkened showroom. Then Elvis came on stage, carried on by a drum roll, to greet an ecstatic audience in a frenzy of exultation at the intoxicating music seemed as though it had been composed with a thought to the infinity of the universe – and, unbelievably enough, as though it had been composed just for the artist Elvis Presley’s entrance to the concert stage.
He’s back…like Schwarzenegger in Terminator…HE’S BACK! After 40 years the “King of Rock & Roll” is in the building, and it is only fitting that his Las Vegas home away from home, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, has welcomed him back with open arms.
Graceland presents ELVIS: THE EXHIBITON
Las Vegas DMC, Destination Fabulous, enthusiastically recommends Graceland’s first permanent Elvis exhibition for Las Vegas group activities as it features hundreds of artifacts never before displayed outside of Graceland. This unprecedented exhibition, direct from the Graceland Archives, showcases the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. Visitors will experience a one-of-a-kind journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, MS, 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.
FAB FACT: Elvis performed 837 consecutive sold-out performances entertaining 2.5 million people…enough to fill the Rose Bowl 25 times over!
“Viva Las Vegas”
What is in this new Elvis Museum? Las Vegas visitors will see some truly rare artifacts in this collection, including 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’ performances, including the first outfit worn on stage for his first concert at the International Hotel in 1969. Select items will be rotated regularly with artifacts in the Graceland Archives, to keep the exhibit constantly evolving and fresh.
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong
Exhibition highlights include:
Tupelo and Memphis -This collection of artifacts follows Elvis’ humble beginnings in Tupelo, Miss., to his family’s move to Memphis, where Elvis’ discovery of gospel blues would influence his music and drive his rock and roll sound. Guests can peruse items such as family portraits; the Presley family bible; Elvis’ 1950 and 1952 high school yearbooks, and graduation tassel; his mother Gladys’ poodle purse, dress shoes and social security card; family loan papers; and paystubs from Elvis’ first job as a delivery truck driver for Crown Electric.
Elvis Mania – In 1956, Elvis released his first album on the RCA recording label and appeared on a variety of nationally televised shows, including “The Ed Sullivan Show.” This is the same year that Elvis first graced the silver screen in his acting debut, “Love Me Tender,” and had a number one hit by the same name. Elvis Mania documents this rise to fame including personal copies of his first singles on the Sun record label; 1955 RCA contract; a variety of Elvis Presley collectibles; his custom leather guitar case; the gold record for his eponymous first album; and wardrobe pieces from “Jailhouse Rock,” which was released in 1957.
Elvis in the Army – From 1958 to 1960, Elvis took a break from his singing and acting career and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. This marks a particularly poignant time in his life, as he met his future wife – Priscilla Beaulieu – while stationed in Germany. Guests in this exhibit see Elvis’ army fatigues; fan letters, a check written to Moulin Rouge from his time on leave in Paris; and iconic photos of his famous military haircut at Fort Chaffee, Ark.
Graceland – At the young age of 22, Elvis purchased his first home where he would live with his mother, father and grandmother. A 17,000-square-foot property sitting on 13 acres, Graceland was a place where Elvis could relax and get away from his busy life as a singer and actor. Later in life, Priscilla and Elvis would marry and raise their daughter Lisa Marie at Graceland, a home Elvis vowed to never sell. Today, Graceland is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year. At the Las Vegas exhibit one area that showcases Elvis’ Memphis home allows guests to see baby Lisa Marie’s footprints and baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding day, their wedding china and more.
Elvis in Hollywood – Between 1958 and 1968, Elvis left live performance touring to serve in the U.S. Army and then focus on his movie career, starring in 31 feature films – such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “King Creole,” “Viva Las Vegas” and “Blue Hawaii” – and two theatrical musical documentaries, including Golden Globe winner “Elvis on Tour.” This exhibit features a collection of scripts, movie posters, a pair of coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” his bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and more.
Elvis in Las Vegas – For Elvis’ first stint in Las Vegas at the New Frontier in April 1956, Colonel Parker billed him as the “Atomic-Powered Singer.” This title would prove true as Elvis signed a deal with the International Hotel in 1969 and became the reigning king of live entertainment in Las Vegas, breaking all box office records for the city. Guests exploring Elvis’ Las Vegas history can see iconic stage costumes from Elvis’ live performances; Priscilla’s dress from Elvis’ opening night at the International Hotel; the suit Elvis wore when signing his 1969 contract; and never-before-displayed advertisements placed by Parker throughout the city from bus stops to billboards. Of particular note is the gold-plated belt encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires that Elvis received in 1969 for breaking Las Vegas breaking box office records and later wore for a meeting with President Nixon in the Oval Office; and a contract written by Parker on a table cloth – complete with coffee stains – when owners of the International Hotel agreed to initial terms on Elvis’ long-term engagement.
Elvis on the Road – Even before he became the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis loved anything with a motor that moved fast. This would become a theme in his life especially after he achieved fame. It’s estimated that Elvis purchased more than 200 cars – some for family and friends, others for strangers and dozens for himself – including Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, Mercedes and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Elvis was often behind the wheel driving his band members for early tours and cross-country trips. Guests to this exhibit can view cars from Elvis’ collection, including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk delivered to Elvis at the International Hotel.
1968 Comeback Special – After an eight-year hiatus from live musical performances, Elvis took to the stage once again for a concert taped on NBC’s Burbank lot dubbed the “1968 Comeback Special.” Elvis re-energized his singing career performing a collection of classic hits and new material for the TV special, which was NBC’s highest rated show of the year, priming Elvis for his Las Vegas run. The exhibit space documenting this performance includes Elvis’ iconic “If I Can Dream” white suit, and the blue chair used in the sit-down jam sessions in the special.
“Too Much Monkey Business”
The exhibition is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and admission tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees. Las Vegas group tours are available through Destination Fabulous’ Site Concierge service. (peanut butter and banana sandwich not included). The average visitor will spend anywhere from :15 minutes to 2 hours touring the exhibit…I spent 2 1/2 hours and was pulled away kicking and screaming by Westgate Security…but I digress.
“Falling In Love With You”
Last but not least, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, is also home to the newest official Elvis-themed chapel. The Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel is the first-ever wedding chapel in Las Vegas to be operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises for couples interested in a fun and authentic Graceland wedding ceremony or vow renewal experience. If you’re west of Memphis but want to get married at an authentic Graceland chapel, Las Vegas is the place!
“Love Me Tender”
Music is the language of emotion. The power of Elvis’ music shaped our lives and continues to touch our soul. As a music icon Elvis expressed freedom, defined a generation, questioned authority, and influenced fashion and art like no other. Destination Fabulous, is inspired by the art of music, and we’re proud to give you a way to identify your own sense of style by embracing our company for your next Las Vegas event. So, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” after all “It’s Now or Never” to get “All Shook Up” at “Heartbreak Hotel!” Otherwise, you’ll be left “Crying In The Chapel.”