This Has Vegas All Shook Up!
This could be the end of an era for Vegas wedding chapels! Authentic Brands Group, the licensing company that controls the name and image of Elvis Presley, is ordering Vegas chapel operators to stop using Elvis in themed ceremonies. They sent cease-and-desist letters in early May to multiple chapels.
With Elvis so closely tied to Vegas’ wedding industry, some say the move could kill their business. The city’s wedding industry generates $2 billion a year, and officials say Elvis-themed weddings represent “a significant number” of the ceremonies performed.
But ABG is defending the move, saying it has no intention of putting the tourist attractions out of business.
In a statement, the company says it only wants to protect the King’s legacy. “We are seeking to partner with each of these small businesses to ensure that their use of Elvis‘ name, image, and likeness are officially licensed and authorized by the estate, so they can continue their operations,” the statement reads. “Elvis is embedded into the fabric of Las Vegas history.”
Of course, one part of Presley’s Las Vegas legacy that can’t be controlled by Authentic Brands are the city’s Elvis-themed stage shows. Under Nevada’s right of publicity law, impersonating someone in a live performance is perfectly legal, according to Vegas attorney Mark Tratos. “An Elvis show is a performer essentially entertaining others by re-creating that person onstage.”
Between you and me, I smell a loophole.