Elvis Presley’s Long-Standing Las Vegas Record Will Finally Be Broken

by Josh Lanier

The King is passing his Las Vegas crown to another performer. Elvis Presley holds the record for most performances in the city, but Barry Manilow will pass him after signing a major deal that runs through 2023.

Elvis Presley played a staggering 837 shows in Sin City, according to Showbiz 411. Manilow’s new contract with the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino will push him past that mark. The hotel and casino didn’t release details of Manilow’s deal.

“I love it there,” Barry Manilow said. “Westgate Las Vegas is my home away from home and I look forward to performing there for a long, long time.”

Westgate Las Vegas, formerly the Vegas Hilton, is where Elvis Presley set the mark. The hotel opened in 1969, and The King stayed there often during his long runs at the theater.

“It’s wonderful working here at the Westgate,” Barry Manilow recently told fans. “I’ve worked every place … every place! And we’re crazy about this place. We’re crazy about the people who run it, we’re crazy about the audiences that come to see us, and we love the showroom that we’re in.”

Manilow postponed his summer shows until this month because of the pandemic.

For more information on dates and tickets for Barry Manilow’s Vegas shows visit the Westgate Rest & Casino website.

The First Show Elvis Presley Played in Las Vegas Went Very Badly

Elvis Presley is now synonymous with Las Vegas. But his first time performing in the city didn’t go very well for him. In fact, things were so bad that he bailed on playing a second weekend there.

The reason was that young people loved Elvis. But most middle-aged people and anyone older were still not that pleased with his swiveling hips and rock and roll style. And that was who went to Vegas shows at that time. As most of those shows there at the time featured acts that were more to their liking such as The Rat Pack or big bands.

Newsweek wrote the “[audience] sat through Presley as if he were a clinical experiment.” They also described Elvis’ performance as “a jug of corn liquor at a champagne party.”

That was the general consensus from much of the press at the time.

Elvis Presley, arriving here on the wave of tremendous publicity, fails to hit the promised mark,” one columnist wrote. “The brash, loud braying of his rhythm and blues catalog (and mind you, they are big hits everywhere it seems), which albeit rocketed him to the big time, is overbearing to a captive audience.”

Though, that of course changed. As those young people grew up they started showing up at Las Vegas shows, suddenly Elvis Presley was one of the most sought-after acts on The Strip. Westgate offered him $1 million to open their hotel and casino in 1969.