Las Vegas chapels of affection that use Elvis Presley’s likeness might discover themselves turning into Heartbreak Hotels.
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The licensing firm 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 intently tied to Vegas’ wedding ceremony trade, some say the transfer might decimate their companies.Best of Express PremiumPremiumPremiumPremiumPremium
“We are a family-run enterprise, and now we’re hanging with the massive canines,” mentioned Kayla Collins, who operates LasVegasElvisWeddingChapel.com and the Little Chapel of Hearts together with her husband. “That’s our bread and butter. I don’t get it. We had been simply hitting our stride once more via COVID, then this occurs.”
Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who led a advertising marketing campaign selling Las Vegas as a marriage vacation spot, mentioned the order for chapels to cease utilizing Elvis couldn’t have come at a worse time for the sector.
The metropolis’s wedding ceremony trade generates $2 billion a yr, and officers say Elvis-themed weddings symbolize a major variety of the ceremonies carried out.
“It would possibly destroy a portion of our wedding ceremony trade. Plenty of folks would possibly lose their livelihood,” Goya mentioned.
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 yr, 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.
Charles King sings as Elvis as he marries Alicia Funk, middle proper, and Vaughan Chambers at A Little Wedding Chapel on May 12, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
The licensing firm oversees the estates of huge names like film star Marilyn Monroe and boxer Muhammad Ali and 50 client manufacturers.
In the cease-and-desist letter, the corporate mentioned it is going to halt unauthorized use of “Presley’s identify, likeness, voice picture, and different parts of Elvis Presley’s persona in ads, merchandise and in any other case.” The letter additionally mentioned “Elvis,” “Elvis Presley,” “and “The King of Rock and Roll” are protected emblems.
The order shouldn’t translate into authorized motion in opposition to Elvis-themed stage exhibits in Las Vegas reminiscent of “All Shook Up” as a result of impersonating somebody for reside performances reminiscent of 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 present is a performer primarily entertaining others by re-creating that particular person onstage,” Tratos mentioned.
Kent Ripley, whose enterprise known as Elvis Weddings, mentioned he has by no means run into this challenge in 25 years of performing as Elvis.
“They need to shield the Elvis model. But what are they defending by taking Elvis away from the general public?” Ripley requested.
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