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The Spirit of Elvis Presley watches over the lobby of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino

Elvis

It is now the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The bronze statue of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley just moved into the lobby.

1969 Elvis Presley performed for 58 consecutive sold-out shows here, breaking all Las Vegas attendance records.

From July 31, 1969, to Dec. 12, 1976, Elvis Presley sold out more than 600 shows at the Las Vegas International Hotel in what was supposed to be a four-week engagement that lasted for seven years, to an estimated audience of 2.5 million people.

Almost 44 years ago on Sept. 8, 1978, the Las Vegas Hilton honored the record-breaking streak with the installation of a bronze statue of the King by the hotel entrance.

It is now the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and the bronze statue of the King of Rock Elvis Presley was upgraded and just moved into the lobby of the hotel.

Zimmerman, the PR agency in charge of promoting the hotel said in an email: “Looking ahead to the premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” movie, premiering June 24, we owe it to the King to take a look back in time to where it all started – with what is now the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Nevada, US. 

Located just steps from the Strip this legendary Las Vegas hotel opened on July 2, 1969, as the International Hotel and was known for years as the Las Vegas Hilton. 

On July 31, 1969, Elvis Presley performed the first show of what would become a seven-year run at the hotel, encompassing 636 consecutive sold-out shows. Presley’s appearances became a major part of the hotel’s identity and an iconic chapter in the history of Las Vegas entertainment.

Under the stage of the renowned International Theater is the path Elvis Presley would take as he walked to a showroom packed with fans. But first, he would stop backstage by a column, touch the wall and pray.

If you walk to that spot today, you see a square, wooden and worn patch covered with older varnish. It’s the actual spot Elvis stood before he walked out into entertainment history. At the Westgate, it’s preserved for posterity.

Beneath the Westgate stage still stands his dressing room. The décor has changed, of course, but the bar, however, is the original. Elvis would recognize it.

This hotel was his Las Vegas home.

On the 30th floor, his penthouse was simply room “3000.” Today, it’s called the Tuscany Sky Villa.

In 1995, the hotel was renovated and expanded what was Elvis’ Suite. The original was 5,000 square feet. In its place now stands a 13,000-square-foot Italian palace. The actual rooms may be long gone, but back in the day, this was Elvis’ home away from home. In this hotel, he headlined his way into Las Vegas history.

Present-day, the property continues paying tribute to the King – from its famed Elvis statue still standing proudly in the lobby, which will be accompanied by themed decor to debut on Thursday, June 23rd in celebration of the feature film, to a special partnership with the “King of Las Vegas Festival” to host an Elvis Fan Festival the weekend of July 8-10which will showcase iconic cocktails that would make the King himself sing, including the ‘Blue Hawaii’ and ‘Velvet Elvis.’

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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