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Las Vegas company calls on chapels to end Elvis-themed weddings

Las Vegas chapels of affection that use Elvis Presley’s likeness may discover themselves changing into Heartbreak Hotels.

The licensing company that controls the identify and picture of “The King” is ordering Sin City chapel operators to cease utilizing Elvis in themed ceremonies, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Monday. Authentic Brands Group despatched cease-and-desist letters in early May to a number of chapels, that are anticipated to be compliant by now.

With Elvis so carefully tied to Vegas’ wedding ceremony business, some say the transfer may decimate their companies.

“We are a family-run business, and now we’re hanging with the big dogs,” stated Kayla Collins, who operates and the Little Chapel of Hearts along with her husband. “That’s our bread and butter. I don’t get it. We were just hitting our stride again through COVID, then this happens.”

Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who led a advertising marketing campaign selling Las Vegas as a marriage vacation spot, stated the order for chapels to cease utilizing Elvis couldn’t have come at a worse time for the sector.

Authentic Brands Group despatched cease-and-desist letters in early May to a number of chapels.

The metropolis’s wedding ceremony business generates $2 billion a year, and officers say Elvis-themed weddings characterize a big variety of the ceremonies carried out.

“It might destroy a portion of our wedding industry. A number of people might lose their livelihood,” Goya stated.

One chapel final weekend had its Elvis impersonator change as an alternative right into a leather-based jacket, denims and a fedora for a “rock ‘n’ roll” themed ceremony, the Review-Journal reported.

Graceland Wedding Chapel, which performs 6,400 Elvis-themed weddings per year, has not been served a warning but, in accordance to supervisor Rod Musum.

Authentic Brands Group didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to an emailed request for remark.

The licensing company oversees the estates of massive names like film star Marilyn Monroe and boxer Muhammad Ali and 50 shopper manufacturers.

In the cease-and-desist letter, the company stated it’s going to halt unauthorized use of “Presley’s name, likeness, voice image, and other elements of Elvis Presley’s persona in advertisements, merchandise and otherwise.” The letter additionally stated “Elvis,” “Elvis Presley,” “and “The King of Rock and Roll” are protected logos.

The order mustn’t translate into authorized motion towards Elvis-themed stage exhibits in Las Vegas equivalent to “All Shook Up” as a result of impersonating somebody for dwell performances equivalent to exhibits is taken into account an exception underneath Nevada’s proper of publicity legislation, in accordance to Mark Tratos, an area lawyer who helped write the statute.

“An Elvis show is a performer essentially entertaining others by re-creating that person onstage,” Tratos stated.

Kent Ripley, whose business is known as Elvis Weddings, stated he has by no means run into this concern in 25 years of performing as Elvis.

“They want to protect the Elvis brand. But what are they protecting by taking Elvis away from the public?” Ripley requested.