Elvis may be leaving the building.
The licensing company that owns the rights to Elvis’ image and likeness is ordering Las Vegas chapel operators to stop using Elvis in themed ceremonies, the reported.
A cease-and-desist letter from Authentic Brands Group (ABG) dated May 19 was sent to several Sin City chapels. In the letter, the company alleges that impersonating ‘The King’ is commercial exploitation and trademark violation.
With Elvis’ image so closely tied to the wedding industry in Las Vegas, officials worry the move could have extreme consequences for residents and businesses.
‘It might destroy a portion of our wedding industry. A number of people might lose their livelihood,’ said Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who presides over the city’s wedding marketing campaign.
Las Vegas’ wedding industry generates $2 billion a year, with Elvis-themed weddings represent a significant number of the ceremonies performed.
The letter stated that if an ‘infringing chapel’ did not comply with the terms of the document within a week, that the company’s attorneys would seek legal action. A week from when it was sent was Friday. No chapels have reported being contacted by the company.
Avoiding legal consequences, one chapel over the weekend had its Elvis impersonator change into a leather jacket, jeans and a fedora for a ‘rock n roll’ themed ceremony.
One family-run chapel described how they were already facing troubles before the cease-and-desist letter arrived.
‘We are a family-run business, and now we’re hanging with the big dogs,’ said Kayla Collins, who operates LasVegasElvisWeddingChapel.com and the Little Chapel of Hearts with her husband. ‘That’s our bread and butter. I don’t get it. We were just hitting our stride again through Covid, then this happens.’
Graceland Wedding Chapel, which performs 6,400 Elvis-themed weddings per year, has not been served a warning yet, according to manager Rod Musum.
In the cease-and-desist letter, ABG said it will halt unauthorized use of ‘Presley’s name, likeness, voice image, and other elements of Elvis Presley’s persona in advertisements, merchandise and otherwise.’ The letter also said ‘Elvis,’ ‘Elvis Presley,’ and ‘The King of Rock and Roll’ are all protected trademarks.
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