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|WESTGATE, ABG & EPE WHO OWES WHO WHAT?
March 02, 2016 - Various / Elvis Express Radio
By now we are all well aware that something is wrong in Las Vegas!
Somehow, Elvis' return to the very hotel he packed out over 800 times between 1969 to 1976, which was announced to much fanfare & hype that "Elvis Was Back After 40
Years". Not only was he back but Elvis was back "Now & Forever".
NOW and FOREVER.... Well that's what they said at the opening.....10 months later and not only has "Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition" suddenly closed it's doors,
all staff escorted off the Westgate premises, booked weddings cancelled, all security cameras shut down and 350 Historic Elvis treasures retained by the Westgate.
And now with no surprise to anyone, EPE are of course alarmed by this action and are obviously demanding the Historic Artifacts be returned... Just What Is Going On!
OK, "Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition" is/was 2,800 square feet and includes 350 items from Graceland, The Home of Elvis Presley.
Let's take a look at the Westgate issue.
Westgate officials signed a 10-year contract with the tenants (who are NOT EPE or Graceland, more on this below), but the exhibit has closed after just 10 months. They further
say they're working with the Presley Estate and their wish is to reopen the exhibit as soon as possible.
The operator for the Elvis Presley Exhibit and Show at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino are Authentic Brands Group (ABG), working under the banner of
Exhibit A Circle LLC, ABG obtained the rights to Elvis Presley's intellectual property from CORE Media Group in 2013 and gives Authentic Brands control of Elvis Presley
Enterprises (EPE), which manages the licensing and merchandising rights to Presley's image, name and likeness, in addition to a massive collection of music, photos, movies,
television appearances and performance specials featuring the King of Rock `n' Roll.
"We send our condolences to the legions of Elvis fans who share our love and admiration of this iconic music legend." - The Westgate
Authentic Brands Group [ABG] notified the Westgate that they were "ceasing operations of the Graceland West Exhibit and Graceland Chapel". A statement from a Westgate
spokesperson: "We consider their actions to be a default of our agreements and will pursue all legal means possible to recover the significant monies owed to the property. We are
saddened that the group who currently holds the license for representing the exhibition and performance of Elvis Presley [ABG] has acted in a manner that is both capricious and
potentially harmful to the persona of Elvis Presley, and we send our condolences to the legions of Elvis fans who share our love and admiration of this iconic music legend."
So what about Elvis Presley Enterprises?
In a press statement made to FOX, this is what they had to say:
"Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) is deeply concerned with the aggressive actions taken by the Westgate Las Vegas Resort due to a third-party dispute of which EPE is not a party.
On Friday, February 26th The Westgate seized, without any legitimate legal basis, hundreds of treasured Elvis artifacts on loan to the exhibition from the Graceland Archives.
At the same time, Westgate staff forcibly removed employees from the exhibition and disabled the video feed from security cameras. Despite our wishes to retrieve these artifacts
and return them to Graceland, the Westgate is currently preventing staff from accessing the exhibition space to pack up and bring home these priceless pieces of history, which
are owned by EPE and the Presley family. While EPE does not have a contractual relationship with the Westgate, we have no choice but to pursue all legal means necessary to
ensure the return of our artifacts immediately."
And who exactly are Authentic Brands Group?
Joel Weinshanker owns the rights to Graceland's operations, with Authentic Brand Group, LLC and the Presley family as partners. Lisa Marie Presley retains a 15% ownership in
the company and continues to be involved in major business decisions, as does her mother Priscilla.
Lisa Marie Presley retains 100% sole personal ownership of Graceland Mansion itself and its over 13-acre original grounds and her father's personal effects - meaning
costumes, wardrobe, awards, furniture, cars, etc.. She has made the mansion property and her father's personal effects permanently available for tours of Graceland and for
use in all of EPE's operations.
Jack Soden is the President and CEO of EPE and is based in the Memphis office. This top management team is supported by the vice-presidents, directors, managers and staff
of the various departments of EPE, including marketing & media, sales, accounting, operations, human resources and the various sub-departments within these.
Also known as ABG, Authentic Brands Group is a New York-based intellectual property corporation that manages brands including Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali.
When the purchase was announced in 2013, a price wasn't disclosed, but at that time, the New York Post reported that Authentic Brands had emerged as the lead bidder after
upping its offer to $125 Million Dollars.
So the purchase gave Authentic Brands control of Elvis Presley Enterprises, meaning ABG would from that point on, manage licensing and merchandising rights to Presley's
image, name and likeness etc.
To really sum up this whole situation, our very own EER Newshound, Tony Stuchbury wrote the following:
So, the family/EPE is aggrieved and caught in the middle?
GIVE ME A FRICKIN' BREAK!
The family/EPE are ultimately responsible, they sold the rights to ABG and to Joel Weinshanker and let him have these artifacts to loan to The Westgate for the exhibition, they
really shouldn't go playing this 'hurt' card. (EER Adds: They did the very same thing with the Planes farce. EPE terminated the deal and then when it back fired, they came out
crying how it was not their fault....yeah, right!)
How about the family have a go at Weinshanker and ABG and tell them to get their house in order and sort this mess out? Oh, can't they afford to upset him perhaps because he's
in charge and they work for him now.
Poor show Presley family, poor show at the end of the day you should have protected the artifacts within a contract with ABG, so the Westgate withholding 350 pieces of Elvis'
property is all your fault in the first place.
The Presley family are EPE who sold the intellectual rights of Elvis to Joel Weinshanker/ABG (authentic brand group), he and his group are responsible for the legal agreements
with The Westgate and are therefore the one's who now owe the money.
The Presley family/EPE are the ones who have an agreement with Weinshanker/ABG and it's him who has the agreement with The Westgate.
For the Presley family/EPE to get involved is underhand, so let's try and make it simple. The Presley family/EPE should make Weinshanker/ABG sort it out, he's responsible to them
AND The Westgate ! !
|AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP ADVERT FROM THEIR WEBSITE
"We are changing the game" - Huh, how true that is.