Casinos

Elvis Sues Westgate for Return of Items

Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc is seeking to retrieve items including stage outfits, jewellery and the star’s high school yearbook.

It says the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino is holding the items “hostage” as part of a dispute with the operators of an Elvis exhibition.

The Graceland Presents Elvis attraction closed abruptly earlier this month.

Billed as the largest exhibition of Elvis memorabilia outside his Graceland home and museum, the attraction opened last April to great fanfare.

But the doors closed at the beginning of March, with The Westgate claiming the show’s operators, Exhibit A Circle LLC, had defaulted on their 10-year lease.

Exhibit A claimed the Westgate violated the contract first, but declined to elaborate. Elvis’s estate responded by filing legal papers filed in Clark County District Court. It claimed it had been denied access to a security camera that allowed it to monitor its items, and asked the court to order that the memorabilia be returned.

Elvis Presley Enterprises declined to comment further on the legal action, but previously said Westgate aggressively seized the valuables without a legitimate legal basis.

Westgate’s chief operating officer Mark Waltrip declined to discuss the case.

The dispute centres on the same casino where Elvis performed several hundred shows, in the days when it was known as the Las Vegas Hilton and The International.

The 28,000-square-foot exhibition featured the $1 million-a-year contract Elvis signed on a tablecloth, agreeing to perform at the casino; and the single-button black suit he wore for his first performances there.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Elvis & Nixon, a comedy about the 1970 meeting between the rock star and the US president, will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York next month.

Liza Johnson’s film, backed by Amazon Studios, stars Michael Shannon as Elvis Presley and Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon.

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