Elvis Impersonators Are Ordered To Stop Las Vegas Weddings
via 8 News NOW Las Vegas / Youtube
Elvis Presley impersonators are one of the highlights of Las Vegas tourism and there has been a lot of weddings done by them. Although recently, Authentic Brands Group, owners of Presley’s image rights, are now telling the chapels to end the practice.
Last month, the company wrote to Vegas businesses threatening legal action if they continued to use the trademarked image of the Kind of Rock and Roll. Even though legal experts said Nevada law meant that any lawsuits would be unlikely to succeed, many chapel operators remained in fear that they might lose their livelihood.
Impersonator Jesse Garon told Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“It would devastate me to have this stop.
“I wouldn’t know what to do if I couldn’t perform as Elvis for these couples. It’s at least 80% of my business as Elvis.”
Another impersonator, Harry Shahoian said:
“What you need to realize is, the wedding chapels are 365 days a year, because people love to be married by Elvis. I did the whole day Sunday, 22 ceremonies. I’ve done more than 30 in one day, 100 in a week, all of those Elvis-themed.”
While Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman stated:
“Our wedding industry has been struggling through the pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused.
“These obviously are not people or a company that give a hoot about this community or its people.”
In a statement reported by The Guardian, ABG said they have no intention of trying to end the Elvis weddings, but only wanted to “ensure that their use of Elvis’ name, image and likeness are officially licensed and authorized.”
However, one operator, Ben Lehavi, who runs three chapels, explained:
“I have a lot of rebuttals, that ‘Elvis’ is in with generic terms like ‘aspirin,’ ‘escalator,’ ‘cellophane,’ ‘dry ice’ that are generic terms that used to be trademarked. But we still don’t know what ABG wants to achieve at the end of this process.”