Graceland’s Elvis Exhibit Closes at Westgate, Drama Ensues

“Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition” has closed at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino amidst rumors of a dispute between the hotel and the tenant, a licensee of Elvis Presley’s estate.

Elvis Exhibit

Now, with 100% less exhibit, show and experience.

According to our buddy Norm Clarke at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the exhibit was shuttered just 10 months into what was supposed to be a 10-year contract.

A rep of Westgate said the exhibit owed the resort “a substantial amount of money,” and the tenant was threatening to default, so the attraction was closed.

The timing of the closure is peculiar given the fact it was recently announced the nearby Riviera Boulevard was to be renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard, a move we thought boneheaded given the fact Presley died nearly 40 years ago.

We presciently discussed the waning appeal of Elvis in Las Vegas on the most recent installment of the Vital Vegas Podcast. Yes, our podcast is so influential, it helped close a Las Vegas attraction. And that’s the story we’re sticking to.

Elvis

“Viva Elvis” show at Aria, closed. “The Elvis Experience” show at Westgate, closed. The King’s Ransom exhibit, closed. Elvis-A-Rama museum, closed. Las Vegas needs to get an icon upgrade.

It was assumed the street change name was a move to help promote the exhibit, but now managers of the exhibit have contacted the county stating they would prefer the street not be renamed.

The Elvis exhibit has already been removed from the Westgate Web site, and there’s no word what might move into the 28,000-square-foot space.

Of course, there’s a chance the hotel could amicably resolve its conflict with the tenant, but it sounds like there’s bad blood, so that seems unlikely.

All we can do now is watch and wait, and try not to throw up a little when every single article covering this story contains this phrase, “Westgate’s Elvis exhibit has left the building.”

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  • Bouldersteve

    I agree that the Elvis thing in Vegas may be losing its appeal. After all it’s been almost 40 since he died. He was a big supporter of Las Vegas though and glad he finally got a street named after him. Do you know if the exhibit at the Westgate was popular?.. The reasons for closing seem strange.

  • Troy Swezey

    I passed by there once and recall the exhibit to be kind of pricey so I did not go in.
    What used to be in that space? I guess Westgate could expand their time share sales offices or something?

  • Danny Chiang

    They should beg Paramount to let them have Star Trek again even if it is just an exhibit without the ride part.

  • Wally Marshall

    You don’t pay rent, you lose your space. Hello….

  • Three Slice Toaster

    Locals think Elvis has lost his appeal because they’ve been exposed to it so much more than tourists, and because locals seem to love to hate things. Elvis still has a lot of appeal outside of Vegas, which is why there’s still a fully staffed Elvis channel on satellite radio. Elvis having a street named after him is long overdue. The Velvet Fog has a street. So do a bunch of county commissioners that nobody gives a crap about. For all Elvis did (and continues to do) for Las Vegas’ tourism industry, he is owed at least this.

    If the Westgate exhibit was a failure, it’s because it was way way way too expensive. It should have been around $15. As I recall, it was actually priced closer to $50. Elvis fans remember when Vegas was a value, and you lost your money at the craps table, not paying for parking.

    It sounds like Westgate got wind that the exhibit organizers were going to skip town and closing the exhibit first means the stuff is now collateral that the hotel can use as leverage to get the back rent paid.

    • Misslaydj

      agreed to the parking

    • ElvisLucky PresleyJackson

      It wasn’t promoted well enough, it was too expensive, and EPE acted like they ran the Westgate and not the owner.

  • D. Pinthot

    Why do you put the comment link at the beginning of the posts rather than at the standard bottom? Life’s too short to spend it up scrolling so much. :>)

    • Hundley Fan

      I concur. However, you can right-click on the post title and open in a new window, or just click on the post title. Both will display the post with the comments.

      • D. Pinthot

        thanks for the enlightenment.^

        • Hundley Fan

          No problem. I neglected to add that if you click on the post title, itself, you’ll have to eventually click on the left arrow next to the Web address bar (or do Alt-Left Arrow) to go back to the main page.

          There is one more way to see the comments, which is how I usually read this blog. Right-click on the comments link at the start of the article to open it in another window. Read the article in the original window, then when you get to the end, click on the new window you opened. You’ll be positioned at the start of the comments section. After you read the comments, close that window, and you’ll be back where you left off in your original window.

      • I didn’t even know that. Thanks. I’d change the position of that link, but I have no idea how, and if I figured it out, it would be wiped away the next time I updated WordPress, which only serves to confirm what I’ve been saying all along. I have no clue what I’m doing.

  • Rebecca Kennedy

    Elvis lived at the Westgate for 3 years while he was performing in Vegas. I visited what is left of his penthouse apartment there. It was an awesome tour. The guide pointed out what furniture Elvis actually picked out. They left the old analog televisions in the bedrooms. There was a huge bar, and even a pool.The pool was new, the old was removed to make room for, you’ve got it, more timeshares. lol. The tour was $25. A bit steep for the half hour tour, but if you are an Elvis fan or even a person who wants to see how the other half lives,you may think it’s worth your time. And if you didn’t get enough on the tour, you can actually rent the suite for the night.

    • Didn’t know about that one. Who gives that tour?

      • Rebecca Kennedy

        I was thinking it was the hotel Scott, because they said they rent out the suite. Which would be uber awesome. It would be a great place for a party! It’s huge and has the pool. The place I bought my ticket was right before you get to the time share room. It looks like a hotel check in counter. Hope this helps.

  • ElvisLucky PresleyJackson

    Why didn’t Elvis have a major street or boulevard before? (Instead of just two small streets near Mt Charleston) Very simply, no one ever thought of it or stepped up to do the work to name a street after him, or the opportunity did not present itself. It is a property owner on the street who must have the resources to follow the policies of street naming according to laws of Clark county. I am grateful that the Westgate had the insight to pay attention to take advantage of this opportunity! For any of you who might say “This is long over due. It should have happened a long time ago.” — That’s easy to say when you haven’t looked into it. It really doesn’t matter when this happened; all that matters is that we have this now!

    It has been in effect since last July. You can find it on the open web map at the Clark County web site.

    ‘Elvis Presley Boulevard’ in Las Vegas is a definite. The Clark County Office of Public Communications has stated, “The street name change has been approved and new street signs are coming. To reverse this you would need an application to change the street name again, and only an abutting property owner could make such a request. Per Clark County Title 30 Chapter 30.16.170 – Street Name or Numbering System Change. Dan Kulin – Clark County Office of Public Communications . I was told that the only thing we are waiting for is the sign installation date. It probably will be an
    ‘event’ like recently was held for Sammy Davis Jr.