LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An iconic Las Vegas character could soon disappear after a cease-and-desist letter was sent out for any Elvis representation. The company that licenses Elvis Presley merchandise is behind it. Las Vegas wedding chapel officials say this would be a big hit to the industry.
This would not only hurt our small business but would hurt the marriage tourism in general,” President of Vegas Weddings Melody Willis-Williams told 8 News Now.
Willis-Williams runs two wedding chapels in Las Vegas and says Elvis themes are always in demand. “I really think the wedding industry has helped keep elvis and his name alive for a generation that never got to see him,” Willis-Williams said.
This business owner says she was one of several around the Las Vegas valley who recently received a letter from Authentic Brands Group. The letter states Authentic Brands Group is the company that licenses Elivs Presley and is asking for a cease-and-desist for the name, likeness, and image of the singer.
Jesse Garon has been a full time Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas for more than 30 years, and says this letter is a death sentence for him and others in the industry. “You would see one more person in the unemployment line,” Garon told 8 News Now. “I have the best job in the world. We marry people and are part of their best day of their life.”
The Vegas Wedding Chamber issued a statement writing in part, “It is especially concerning that Las Vegas chapels and impersonators are being targeted as so many people’s livelihood depends on these weddings using his image.”
Event planners say they are getting ready for any legal fight coming down the pipeline. “We have started a legal process to see what we can do,” Willis-Williams told 8 News Now. It’s my hope to join the chapels together and be a united front for this because i know how important this is for them as well.”
8 News Now has reached out to Authentic Brands Group for comment and have yet to receive one.