I was in Vegas last weekend for a writer’s conference, and it happened to be the weekend of the opening for The Elvis Experience, a new venture between Westgate Hotels and Graceland Enterprises. The project includes a live production and an Elvis exhibit. I did not attend the live production. I was free to go on a Sunday, and there are no shows on Sundays. Also, even though I’m sure it’s spectacular, I’m not sure I care to see someone recreate Elvis’ phenomenal run in Las Vegas. As always, if I can’t have the real thing, I’m not all that interested.
The exhibit was fabulous. The people who work there were friendly and informative, and didn’t make fun of me when I got a little emotional. 🙂 One girl in particular, Chloe, was very sweet. She was probably 19 or 20, but she discovered an appreciation for Elvis while taking a music course in college. She was kind enough to listen to me ramble on about what Elvis means to me and pretended to be interested. 🙂
There is something surreal and awe-inspiring about being surrounded by things Elvis owned, things he wore, things he drove, and even some notes written in his own hand. Not to mention the larger than life photos lining the walls. And, to top it all off, Elvis music and concert clips are playing throughout. The exhibit also includes a thirty minute film showing concert clips and snippets of interviews—an excellent way to end the tour and a definite heart string puller.
I’ll share the remainder of my experience in photos…
Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?