Article by Suzanne Philips
Photos copyright Larry Cunningham/LCunningham Photography
On Thursday April 23rd, the Westgate hotel and casino in Las Vegas officially opened “Graceland presents Elvis – the Exhibition, the Show, the Experience”, which is the only permanent exhibit outside of Graceland to display Elvis’ own artifacts. The Westgate is a perfect fit for this exhibit as Elvis himself used to perform in the hotel’s showroom, breaking box office records for the entire city.
The exhibit opening was attended by both Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla Presley and his daughter Lisa Marie. Fan lined up for hours to get a glimpse of the two and take a tour through the exhibit, which contains items such as Elvis’ personal television from his bedroom and Lisa Marie’s baby shoes.
There is also a huge gift shop attached to the exhibit where fans can have their photo taken in front of a replica of the Graceland gates and pick up Elvis and pop culture items.
The Westgate hotel and casino has really gotten behind bringing Elvis back to Las Vegas, including opening the Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel in which the first wedding was held early in the day with Priscilla Presley serving as maid of honor and opening the “Elvis Experience” show which stars Martin Fontaine in a re-creation of Elvis’ Las Vegas shows of the 1970’s which include 24 musicians and 8 back-up singers, just like Elvis did back in the day.
Elvis is prominently displayed all over the hotel with signage and photos everywhere. It’s clear that the Westgate is glad that Elvis is “back in the building”.
Tickets for the exhibit start at $22 and the exhibit is open every day at 10:00 am, the Elvis Experience show runs Tuesday – Saturday and tickets start at about $50. Tickets and info can be found at https://www.westgatedestinations.com/nevada/las-vegas/westgate-las-vegas-hotel-casino/ .