Mayor advances Vegas as an official Elvis headquarters

Jesse Garon as Elvis presides over a wedding vow renewal ceremony between Carolyn Goodman and t ...

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has had her matrimonial summit with Authentic Brands Group. The respective parties have agreed to move forward in reinforcing Las Vegas as an international destination for Elvis Presley fans.

The mayor also broached the idea of ABG opening an office in Las Vegas. The company operates its West Coast office in Los Angeles.

“I said, ‘What you should be doing is looking at opening one of your company centers here in Southern Nevada,’” Goodman said Tuesday afternoon, just after a conference call with three ABG reps. “They said they finally had just been talking about that.”

Goodman said Presley has two primary centers in the United States.

“His two home bases, obviously, are Memphis and Las Vegas,” she said. “That’s Elvis. That’s where he is.” Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, but his fabled Graceland estate is in Memphis, and he sold out 636 consecutive shows at the International and Las Vegas Hilton.

The ABG officials on Tuesday’s conference call were all high-ranking company reps: Dana Carpenter, executive vice president of entertainment, Natasha Fishman, chief communications officer and executive vice president of marketing, and Michelle Ciciyasvili, public relations director. The company has not returned phone messages or emails regarding the developments between ABG and Vegas chapel operators.

Ciciyasvili issued a statement Thursday that the company was working with Vegas businesses on licensing partnerships.

This week, multiple operators said they had been told that the ABG licensing partnership offer would be $500 annually. No Vegas owner has reported being sent a contract. But the big lift with that offer would be that an Elvis chapel can accurately claim to be an officially licensed Elvis business while cleared to use the King’s name and likeness in its marketing and ceremonies.

Goodman said ABG has a list of 14 chapels, six of whom it has contacted directly, to become licensed partners.

The operators are also being invited to a private screening of the upcoming “Elvis” movie, directed by Baz Luhrmann, set for wide release June 24. The Vegas premiere date and site have not been identified.

Goodman came away feeling optimistic about the relationship between Vegas and the Elvis company.

“They support our wedding industry 100 percent, and everybody wants to protect the Elvis brand and the legacy he’s left,” Goodman said. “This is an enormous company. One of the things I said is, is the bigger you get, the failure to communicate really creates problems. I hope that communication was not (to blame for) this scare that they put into us. But I think their whole purpose now is to work with Las Vegas.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.