Viva Las Vegas! Elvis Presley Fan Club

Taking care of Elvis in Las Vegas, in our way, since 2004.   Let's have a swingin' time!

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Elvis Then

Elvis' show schedule in Las Vegas

April 23 - May 6 1956 New Frontier

(photo at right)

July 31 - Aug 28 1969 International

1970  Jan 26 - Feb 23 ;  Aug 10 - Sep 07

1971 Jan 26 - Feb 23 ; Aug 09 - Sep 06 Hilton

1972  Jan 26 - Feb 23  ; Aug 04 - Sep 04

1973  Jan 26 - Feb 23  ;  Aug 06 - Sep 03

1974  Jan 26 - Feb 09  ;  Aug 19 - Sep 02

1975  Mar 18 - Apr 01  ;  Aug 18 - Aug 20   ;  Dec 02 - Dec 15

1976  Dec 02 - Dec 12

 

  More about Elvis in Concert, [click here]

This page provides information on Elvis' connections to Las Vegas. If you are interested in learning a lot about Elvis' history here, read on! (Accuracy not guaranteed.)

April 1956:  First shows in Las Vegas at the Frontier.   Elvis learns the Vegas crowd isn't his kind of audience. But he enjoys meeting several celebrities and 24 hour atmosphere of the town.
 
The biggest meeting (and future friendship) was with Liberace at the Riviera where they exchanged coats and instruments. The Riviera closed forever on May 4, 2015.
To learn more about Liberace:      http://www.liberace.org/


 http://lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/09/happy-birthday-elvis-look-his-deep-ties-las-vegas/


Another significant event was getting permission from Freddie Bell (and the Bellboys) to record his version of 'Hound Dog.'  Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys would go across the street and visit the Sands to see Freddie Bell and the Bellbouys. The Sands no longer exists, the Venetian is there instead.
Freddie's version of Hound Dog:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJQ-fDb4M4s
 
The Frontier was imploded in 2007. It was located across from where the Wynn Hotel/Casino is now.

The 1960's-Elvis visits Vegas quite a bit during the movie years, frequently staying at the Sahara Hotel.

July 1963 Elvis films the movie, "Viva Las Vegas." The movie premieres in New York, April 1964. He and his 'mafia' stayed at the Sahara. Filming locations included: Sahara Hotel, the Flamingo hotel pool area, east side parking lot of the Convention Center (next to the Hilton), Thunderbird Gun Range, Frontier Western Village (it was between the Frontier and the Silver Slipper, where the Fashion Show Mall is now), Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Mt Charleston, Fremont Street, driving down Paradise Road (from Sahara Ave) and the Little Chapel of the West on LV Blvd (now located near the Mandalay Bay). (no, the dance scene at UNLV was not filmed here. it was in Hollywood)

May 1, 1967 Elvis marries Priscilla at the Aladdin in an 8 minute ceremony.   The Aladdin has been remodeled and renamed Planet Hollwood. The original Aladdin where Elvis married was imploded in 1998.  Planet Hollywood is now in the spot.

Elvis loved the see Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders perform in Vegas, usually at the Flamingo.  The Riders also performed at the lounge inside the International, where Elvis performed.

A photo of the two in 1968.  http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~presley/celeb/WayneCochran.jpg

In the 60's & 70's Elvis would visit the Stardust (now the Echelon) and catch the entertainment in the lounge. His favorite was Brendan Bowyer and the Irish Show Band. The Stardust is now gone, it was imploded in early 2007.

Read about Brendan Bowyer     Picture of Brendan with Elvis

When you visit the Bowyer website, you will see a picture of Elvis in a "Spinout" costume. Yes, race scenes were filmed here, at the Stardust Raceway. Click this link to read more.

Elvis performs on stage for the first time in 9 years, July 31, 1969 at the International Hotel.

Visit Elvis Backstage in 1969 - an award winning interactive website. Click here.

The "Jumpsuit Years", 1970-1976. Elvis performs at the International, later known as the Hilton (as of 1971) , in Las Vegas. He usually does 2 shows a night for short periods, twice a year, from Feb '70 - Dec '76. His very last show is Dec 12, 1976, midnight. He never returns to Vegas.

Click to visit a page of links to local articles related to Elvis in Vegas. This is the Elvis Presley Virtual Library. Thanks for webmaster permission.

 

(Have you ever had questions as to how much the property
has changed since opening in 1969?  Here is a detailed report.)
 
History of the Hilton

The Las Vegas Hilton has been a Las Vegas landmark and an important part of the history of the casino capital of the world. When it opened, it was ranked among the finest resorts in the world, hosting the world's top entertainers and attracting some of the richest high rollers.It was the first casino on the road to megaproperties. By the time the Mirage opened 20 years later, the casino-resort had lost its luster, featuring less-renowned entertainers and banking on a convention clientele.

Kirk Kerkorian originally built what some called his "mini-dream" on 64.5 acres of land on Paradise Road, next to the Las Vegas Convention Center. When it opened on July 5, 1969, the $60 million, 30-story, 1,519-room International was the largest resort in the world.

The hotel immediately earned its place as the home of legendary entertainment. Barbra Streisand was the featured performer at the opening gala and Elvis Presley made his famous Las Vegas comeback at the hotel during its opening month.

In 1970, Kerkorian sold the International, as well as the Flamingo on the Strip, to the Hilton Corp., using the money he made from the deal to build the MGM Grand.  It was renamed the Hilton in 1971.

The Hilton had two major expansions:  the east tower in 1975 and the north tower in 1978 which gave the Y-shaped building its full complement of 3,000 rooms.

In 1983, Hilton announced the building of the $15 million race and sports book which opened in the fall of 1986. (The wall near the current lounge was knocked out to expand the casino space.)

The parking garages (one outside the sports book and the other at the north tower) were added in 1988 and 1997.

The Hilton paid tribute to Elvis Presley in 1987, on the 10th anniversary of his death.  Tours were available to the 30th floor suite, and singer Wayne Newton sang a Presley song program in the showroom.

In 1988, the Hilton's showroom showcased "Elvis: An American Musical" starring Johnny Seaton, Julian Whitaker and Terry Mike Jeffrey. The musical was three years in the making and featured 48 of Presley's most remembered songs.

Following a long line of illustrious entertainers, comedian Bill Cosby was the last star to perform at the Hilton showroom, which closed in 1993 to become the home of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Starlight Express."

The new Hilton Theatre was built specifically for the "Starlight Express." Hotel officials closed the showroom for more than two months, and after gutting it, spent $12 million to create a 1,600-seat oval room with ramps, raceways, embankments and a balcony.  The showroom you see in "That's the Way It Is", is no more.  However, the lobby layout and the stairs up to the balcony are the same.  The souvenir booth in the lobby was formerly the reservations desk.

In 1995, Hilton finished spending $30 million to create new "sky villa" suites on top of the 3,200-room hotel. The villas range in size from the 12,600-square-foot Villa Conrad to the 15,400-square-foot Villa Verona, which is described as "reminiscent of the Palaces of Venice."  The suites that Elvis stayed in no longer exist.  The only thing that remains of that time are the 2 steps up to the swinging door entrance, and the massive scenic windows.  The 30th is only available to high rollers and to those willing to rent it at many thousands a night.  Entrance is through a unique reserved elevator. Also, if you enter the original elevators, you will see that the 30th floor button has been removed. Currently, the Westgate offers tours of the suite for $25.

In August 1998, the Hilton Showroom hosted "Elvis in Concert", a presentation of Presley's concert performance via video of the entertainer with his voice separated out from the original tracks.  The TCB band, singing groups the Imperials and the Sweet Inspirations, with orchestra conductor Joe Guercio filled in their traditional places as backup.  This is the only time this special show was at the Hilton.

In December 1998, Park Place Entertainment Corp. became a separate and independent public company as a result of the split of the lodging and gaming operations of Hilton Hotels Corp.  The Hilton Hotel was no longer officially a Hilton.

In 1999, a 16-story Grand Vacations timeshare property opened on the north edge of the Las Vegas Hilton site.

The Flamingo Hilton, Bally's and the Las Vegas Hilton became the property of Park Place.  Park Place retained use of the Hilton name for three years.  Colony Capital bought the Hilton in 2003 from Caesars Entertainment for $280 million.  A 5 year license was bought for $31 million for use of the Hilton name and its reservation system.
 
Colony snapped up the Hilton at the deflated price and worked on a five-year master plan to spiff up the property and use its land more effectively.
 
The remodeling effort, costing more than $20 million, included a new porte-cochere, outdoor landscaping, a remodeled lobby and front desk, a lounge, coffee bar and upgraded casino floor.

While the casino retained its signature crystal chandeliers, new carpeting was  put in along with new wall coverings and column finishings.
 
The Hilton's main casino bar was replaced by Tempo, an ultramodern bar and lounge with 100 seats and a private area for high rollers in the style of a Strip ultralounge. The space used to house the casino marketing offices and the original lounge / showroom.
 
The property's former house phone area was replaced by a coffee, wine and pastry bar resembling a luxurious Starbucks.
 
More remodeling was done near the convention center. The Hilton's steakhouse, the Plaza Bar and the Shimmer entertainment cabaret were changed. Shimmer, formerly a nightclub, became a small showroom.
 
All the public locations were remodeled, including the main casino area.  While the existing crystals and mirror panels remained, the new Las Vegas Hilton has a modern look with new carpeting, seating, wall coverings, finishes and new paint schemes.
 
The statue of Elvis Presley (paid for by Vernon, his father, and Col Parker, his manager in 1987) was reinstalled outside in a alcove just outside the doors.  It was polished and refinished.  The unveiling was June 21, 2006. It was refinished again in a 'rough' style, to better with stand the elements, in 2011.  It was moved inside the "LVH" in July 2012. It is located near the check in desk.

On January 3, 2012, Hilton Corp canceled its licensing agreement with Colony, the owners of the building. The hotel was renamed: LVH.

Late 2012:  Colony Resorts was unable to keep up with its "mortgage" payments. The property went into foreclosure. The bank that made the loan, Goldman Sachs, took possession.

The end of July 2014, Westgate Resorts owner David Siegel purchased the LVH, re-naming it Westgate Las Vegas.  This eliminated the property from being considered by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for demolition and building of new convention space on the land. That fate instead fell to the Riviera on Las Vegas Blvd, imploded June 2016.  Siegel immediately took action to renovate and improve the casino, rooms, pool area, and other high-traffic areas.

In April 2015, the Westgate, in partnership with EPE, opened the Elvis exhibit with a massive collection from Graceland's archives. In February 26 2016, the exhibit was closed.  There is a lawsuit in arbitration. The artifacts are frozen in time at the exhibit space in careful storage. (Articles about this are on our home page.)

In 2015, Riviera Blvd was renamed for Elvis Presley.The application was submitted by Mr Siegel, the owner of the Westgate. It was approved by Clark County in May that year.The Riviera was imploded a year later, in June 2016. In December 2016, the new street names were installed. The street exits the Westgate at Paradise Blvd in front of the property.