LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas chapels of love that use Elvis Presley’s likeness could find themselves becoming Heartbreak Hotels.
The licensing company that controls the name and image of “The King” is ordering Sin City chapel operators to stop using Elvis in themed ceremonies, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Monday. Authentic Brands Group sent cease-and-desist letters in early May to multiple chapels, which are expected to be compliant by now.
With Elvis so closely tied to Vegas’ wedding industry, some say the move could decimate their businesses.
“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. Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya, who led a marketing campaign promoting Las Vegas as a wedding destination, said the order for chapels to stop using Elvis couldn’t have come at a worse time for the sector.
The city’s wedding industry generates $2 billion a year, and officials say Elvis- themed weddings represent a significant number of the ceremonies performed.
“It might destroy a portion of our wedding industry. A number of people might lose their livelihood,” Goya said.
One chapel last weekend had its Elvis impersonator change instead into a leather jacket, jeans and a fedora for a “rock ‘n’ roll” themed ceremony, the Review-Journal reported.
Graceland Wedding Chapel, which performs 6,400 Elvis-themed weddings per year, has not been served a warning yet, according to manager Rod Musum.
Authentic Brands Group did not immediately respond Tuesday to an emailed request for comment.