Updated June 21, 2022 - 6:03 pm
The history of Elvis is synonymous with the history of Las Vegas.
With Baz Luhrmann’s film “Elvis” set to hit theaters on June 24, Vegas visitors may be interested in knowing what Elvis Presley’s old Sin City haunts look like today. Many of Presley’s iconic spots have taken new names or are no longer standing.
Presley debuts at New Frontier
Elvis Presley’s Las Vegas debut was at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in April 1956. His debut was “Colonel” Tom Parker’s attempt to give Presley national credibility. Newspaper ads called Presley “The Atomic Powered Singer,” according to former Review-Journal columnist Mike Weatherford.
The New Frontier, located at 3120 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, was imploded in 2007, and the site was purchased by Wynn Resorts Ltd. for $336 million in 2017 after the land was previously owned by Israeli investors and Australian billionaire James Packer. Today, the site next to the Fashion Show mall is still vacant.
Elvis and Liberace team up at Riviera
Liberace and Elvis Presley took this photo in 1956 to promote Elvis during his first performance in Las Vegas. The two traded intruments and clothes as part of the publicity stunt. In 2016, part of Riviera Boulevard running along where the Riviera once stood was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The Riviera was imploded in 2016.
Today, the site of the Riviera at 2901 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, is now the site of the Las Vegas Global Business District.
The Las Vegas Convention Center is located in the district.
Elvis marries Priscilla at Aladdin
Elvis and Priscilla Beaulieu married on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin. The original Aladdin hotel located at 3667 S. Las Vegas Boulevard was imploded in 1998 to make room for a new megaresort. The implosion was viewed by 20,000 people.
Two decades before its implosion, the resort was controlled by the mob. The casino was pillaged by the Detroit and St. Louis crime families in the 1970s. The Aladdin was the first casino the state of Nevada worked to close because of organized crime connections. But in 1979, U.S. District Judge Harry Claiborne overruled the state’s decision to close down the Aladdin after the convictions of Detroit mobsters.
To learn more about the rise and fall of the original Aladdin, check out the Review-Journal’s podcast “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Las Vegas.”
A larger Aladdin Hotel and Casino opened at the site of the old Aladdin in 2000. That resort has been known as Planet Hollywood since 2007.
Elvis starts residency at International Hotel
On July 31, 1969, Elvis kicked off a seven-year-long residency at the International Hotel, which was later known as the Las Vegas Hilton. At its opening, it was the largest hotel-casino in the world, with over 1,500 rooms and a 1,150-seat showroom. Elvis performed more than 600 shows there before his death in 1977, including 58 straight sellout shows.
Presley’s contract with the International made him “one of the highest-paid performers in the history of Las Vegas,” according to RCA Records. Elvis played two shows a night, with tickets starting at $15. He also lived in a 5,000-square-foot suite on the hotel-casino’s 30th floor. His last show at the then-Las Vegas Hilton was on Dec. 12, 1976.
The property, located at 3000 Paradise Road, was purchased by Westgate Resorts founder and CEO David Siegel in 2014 and renamed Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. In a 2014 interview with the Review-Journal, Siegel said he saw Elvis’ show 15 times over the years.