Elvis Presley left the planet in 1977. Within months, the first Elvis-themed wedding chapel popped-up in Las Vegas. Since then, more than 5 million couples have tied the knot, blessed by someone resembling the king.
But is the party over?
Authentic Brands Group (ABG), who owns Elvis’ intellectual property rights, is dropping the hammer on the cheesy wedding chapels. They’ve sent out cease-and-desist letters, but insist they’re not shutting things down. ABG claims they want to partner with the chapels and take a piece of the action. Still, they have the Vegas chapel community all shook up. They argue that they’re keeping Elvis relevant for visitors who come from all over the world.
Let’s face it, these chapels have been profiting from Elvis’ name for decades. So ABG has every right to claim their share.
Just don’t be cruel.
Here’s my take. When money guys run the show, they focus on efficiencies. They’ll step over a dollar to pick up a dime. I hope that ABG sees the bigger opportunity.
Las Vegas hosts 120,000 weddings a year. Instead of squeezing the local wedding chapels, ABG should construct the ultimate Elvis experience. An over-the-top, king-sized wedding destination in Las Vegas.
The chapel should be gloriously tacky, complete with velvet Elvis paintings. Next door, it’s the Heartbreak Hotel, decked out with blue suede sofas and memorabilia from Graceland. There’d be rooms for every budget, each with a theme, from the Jailhouse Rock cell to the Hunk o’ Burning Love honeymoon suite. After the wedding, take a dip in the teddy bear-shaped pool. Or, head over to the Jungle Room, featuring different Elvis impersonators every night.
Somewhere, Elvis is smiling and nodding his approval.
Thank you very much.