- Westgate Hotel Las Vegas Elvis Exhibit
- Swinging Through Vegas’ Early Musical History
- Westgate Las Vegas Property Map & Floor Plans
- Las Vegas Celebrates The Return Of The King As Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition
- Elvis Presley Is Back In Las Vegas At An Enormous Exhibit
- Things To Do At Westgate In Glendale
Westgate Hotel Las Vegas Elvis Exhibit – Elvis Presley didn’t put Las Vegas on the map, but he did put a timeless “Viva” in front of it. On what would have been the King’s 88th birthday, here’s a list of his favorite places to hold court in Sin City. Although the spirit of Elvis never left these buildings, most have since left us. But not all.
Although extensively renovated to become the 1,600-seat International Theatre, it was once the showroom where Elvis Presley performed more than 600 concerts during his record-breaking seven-year residency. (Image: westgate.com)
Westgate Hotel Las Vegas Elvis Exhibit
On July 31, 1969, Elvis began a seven-year residency at the International Hotel, which in 1971 became the Las Vegas Hilton and now the Westgate. Elvis performed 636 concerts, two per night, on the showroom stage that still exists.
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Elvis earned $125,000 a week – back when tickets started at $15 – and set Vegas attendance records, including the most consecutive sell-out shows (58).
During his concerts in Las Vegas, Elvis lived in the 30th floor Imperial Suite, a 5,000 square-foot spread where he usually retired with late-night guests after his midnight shows. (Regulars included fellow singer Tom Jones and actors Jack Lord and Lee Majors.) Here, Elvis indulged his more dangerous habit of shooting defenseless objects. – including TVs, chandeliers, and light switches.
The Imperial Suite was demolished in 1995 to create three VIP “sky villas.” In 2012, the hotel changed hands and became the Las Vegas Hotel, and then in 2014, the Westgate. A statue commemorates the Elvis association in the hotel’s lobby.
In 2015, Westgate opened “Graceland Presents: The Elvis Presley Experience.” This exhibit includes a 30,000 square-foot museum with hundreds of Elvis artifacts, its own wedding chapel, and an Elvis tribute show in the original Elvis showroom. Tours of the former Imperial Suite site are also given.
Swinging Through Vegas’ Early Musical History
“This building is important to my family,” said Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie, at the opening of the exhibit with her mother, Elvis’ ex-wife, Priscilla.
A 21-year-old Elvis Presley performed in 1956 at the New Frontier during his first Las Vegas residency with (left) guitarist Scotty Moore and the Freddie Martin Orchestra. (Image: elvisechoesofthepast.com)
Elvis made his Vegas debut at the Venus Room here, over two weeks in April, 1956. Billed as “the atomic-powered singer” in advertisements, the 21-year-old was billed third in the marquee at orchestra leader Freddy Martin and Borscht -belt comic Shecky Greene — though he was the last to perform.
Backed by guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and drummer D.J. Fontana, Elvis performed four songs and was on stage for about 12 minutes each night.
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By most accounts, including his own, Elvis bombed. The youngsters screamed for joy at the Saturday matinee. But the other performances were all met with respectful applause. The square people in Vegas at the time didn’t know what hit them.
“Elvis Presley, arriving on a wing of advanced hoopla, misses the mark here,” wrote Bill Willard in
. “The loud singing of the tunes that had fascinated him so long wore off, and the applause returned repeated in a respectful tone. To the teenagers, he was a whiz; for the usually spending in Vegas, a fizz.
Recordings have surfaced, apparently from the closing night, in which Elvis is heard telling the crowd, “We’re having a hard time … uh … having a great time while we’re here.”
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Elvis was paid $15K for the gig, and the Colonel demanded the money. “No check is good,” he said.
The Frontier was demolished on Nov. 13, 2007. to make way for a resort called The Plaza, which never opened. In 2017, the land was purchased by Wynn Resorts for $336 million, but is still vacant.
Elvis serenaded Ann-Margret during a scene in 1964’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ filmed at the Flamingo pool last year. In real life, Elvis performed for Ann-Margret at The Sahara. (Image: Reddit)
Elvis and his rowdy entourage occupied the top floor of the Alexandria Tower while “Viva Las Vegas” was being shot around town in July 1963. This is where the term “Memphis Mafia” was coined.
Las Vegas Celebrates The Return Of The King As Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition
It was also here (in room 2542, the Presidential Suite) that Elvis loved the film’s co-star, Ann-Margret, tenderly. (Neither Elvis nor Ann-Margret have commented publicly on their relationship.)
Unfortunately, the entire resort was stripped to its bare bones during the 2014 transformation into the SLS, an ill-fated boutique hotel experiment that lasted only five years.
“Viva Las Vegas” opens at a crap table here, where Elvis’ character wins enough money to enter the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Later, at the pool, he serenades Ann-Margret’s character in “The Lady Loves Me” before pushing her off the diving board. (His winnings go, literally, down the drain.)
Today’s Flamingo isn’t what Bugsy Siegel built, though. The last remnants of the original were demolished in 1994. Even the pool was renovated.
Westgate Resort & Casino Is The Perfect Well Rounded Vegas Experience • Instinct Magazine
Michael Jackson (above, right) and his brothers perform at the MGM Grand in the fall of 1974. (Image: Reddit)
Between November 20 and December 3, 1974, a young Lisa Marie asked her father to take her to see and meet the Jackson 5. They were in town performing at the MGM Grand, the hotel that would later be called that Bally’s, and now, the Horseshoe.
The meeting that took place backstage after the performance of the Jackson 5 is particularly historic for two reasons, which none of its participants knew at the time. Not only will this be the only time the man dubbed “the king of rock n’ roll” in the press will meet the boy who will grow up to call himself the “king of pop,” it will also be the first time Lisa will meet Marie her future second husband. He was six years old at that time, she was 16. They were married from 1994 to 1996.
On November 15, 1956, Elvis attended Liberace’s performance in the Clover Room of the Riviera Hotel. After Liberace’s set, the two singers changed clothes and instruments, sparred, and played a few songs for photographers and reporters backstage. While Elvis reportedly rocked a decent piano, Liberace was a guitar amateur.
Elvis Presley Is Back In Las Vegas At An Enormous Exhibit
Once upon a time, Liberace attended Elvis’ performance at the New Frontier, and the odd duo held the same switcheroo photo session in a dressing room there. Liberace went to the request of Col. Tom Parker. He asked Liberace – then the highest paid performer in show business – for any suggestions he could make for Elvis.
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV is the university’s former gym. Here, on the same floor in 1963, Elvis danced with Ann-Margret. (Photo: UNLV)
You can even walk on the same floor where Elvis danced with Ann-Margret. Four years after “Viva Las Vegas” premiered here, UNLV built a new gymnasium, and the old one became the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art. But the former parquet floor of the basketball court remains.
At 9:40 a.m. on May 1, 1967, 32-year-old Elvis Aaron Presley married 21-year-old Priscilla Anne Beaulieu in the second floor suite of Aladdin Hotel owner Milton Prell.
Graceland Brings Elvis Back To His Las Vegas Home
Originally, they were going to get married at Elvis’ Palm Springs pad. But when journalists started gathering there, an 11th hour plan was made to stop them.
Elvis and Priscilla boarded Frank Sinatra’s Lear jet at 2:30 a.m. and obtained a marriage license an hour later from the Clark County Clerk’s Office. Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker asked Prell, his close friend and neighbor in Palm Springs, to plan the wedding.
The private ceremony – performed by Nevada Supreme Court Justice David Zenoff – lasted 10 minutes, the marriage six years. After a press conference arranged for selected (friendly) journalists, the newlyweds returned to Palm Springs.
The hotel collapsed in 1998. A larger Aladdin opened on the site in 2000. The resort has been known as Planet Hollywood since 2007.
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The former Villa D’Este was the only Vegas restaurant Elvis patronized during his seven-year International/Hilton run. In the ’70s, the Italian restaurant was owned by chef Joe Pignatello, Las Vegas-based personal chef for Frank Sinatra and close friend of notorious mobster Sam Giancana.
Usually, Elvis wanted Pignatello in the Imperial Suite to prepare steak and mashed potatoes. Sometimes, Elvis and his entourage would have dinner, occupying the private dining room above Piero’s.
A bloated shell of his former self, Elvis faced his final Las Vegas curtain call at the Hilton on December 12, 1976, eight months before his death at Graceland. (Image: YouTube)
The Landmark Hotel’s pharmacy provided a nasty side of prescription narcotics that Elvis eventually got into.
Las Vegas Elvis Show Hi Res Stock Photography And Images
Elvis dropped more than half a million dollars here, according to the 2006 book “Las Vegas Babylon” by Jeff Burbank. He had a local doctor fill a prescription, then come down and pick it up. When Elvis was at the Hilton, drugs were walked across the street to Elvis’ suite. But even if he’s not there, send them to the Landmark at Graceland or wherever Elvis is.
Usually the packets contained Valium and a powerful painkiller called Dilaudid, which Elvis injected in liquid form. (Landmark also provides syringes.)
Elvis married Ann-Margret here, at least for the “Viva Las Vegas” cameras. Moved three times since, the wooden chapel then stood
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