CKX, Inc., , its subsidiary Elvis Presley Enterprises and Cirque du Soleil have reached an agreement with MGM MIRAGE to create a permanent Elvis Presley show at the CityCenter hotel/casino, under construction in Las Vegas. The show is expected to open with the hotel in November 2009.
The deal announced during Elvis Week, the week in which we commemorate Elvis' untimely passing on August 16, 1977, marks the return of Elvis to Las Vegas, the site of some of the most remarkable performances of his illustrious career. Presley, whose singles include Viva Las Vegas, performed at the Hilton hotel-casino in Las Vegas 837 times from 1969 to 1976.
Cirque du Soleil's creative team is inspired by this new extravaganza. The creative combination of live musicians and singers, projections, dance and the latest in multimedia sound and lighting technology are stimulating and aim at offering an emotional bond with the audience. The show will bring Elvis back to Las Vegas for millions of his existing fans and create a buzz that will enable the persona of Elvis to reach untold numbers of new fans.
A design collaboration between MGM MIRAGE and six internationally acclaimed architects, CityCenter will open in 2009 on 66 acres between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts. At the heart of the action on the Las Vegas Strip, CityCenter will feature a soaring 60-story, 4,000-room hotel/casino, two 400-room non-gaming hotels, 500,000 square feet of retail shops, dining and entertainment venues and nearly 2,800 luxury condominiums.
Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and CEO of CKX, Inc., commented, "I am pleased that during this time, when we remember Elvis Presley and celebrate his life, we are able to announce his return to Las Vegas, a place where he truly rose to iconic status. And with the remarkable creative talent of Cirque du Soleil, fans who saw Elvis perform, as well as those who never had a chance to see him, will be able to experience Elvis in an entirely new and exciting way. This will be the first step in establishing a twenty-first century presence in Vegas for the King."
Guy Laliberte, Founder of Cirque du Soleil, commented, "This new creative challenge is exactly what we strive at accomplishing in the development of our new productions. Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to be involved in CityCenter and we are particularly honored to be entrusted with this assignment. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the public will have an unforgettable encounter with the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis had a unique relationship with his adoring fans in Vegas and a large part of our mission is to recreate the excitement and the spirit of joy he generated here."
European and Asian tours also are planned in the next 18 months, as well as an "Elvis Experience" museum opening in 2008. Production schedules and museum sites have not been announced.
Bobby Baldwin, President and CEO of Mirage Resorts, an MGM MIRAGE operating division, said, "We are thrilled to partner with our friends and colleagues at Cirque du Soleil, who are known the world over for creating memorable entertainment experiences. With this show we will bring together Elvis, an icon of Las Vegas entertainment history, with CityCenter, a destination that represents the future of this remarkable city."
The announcement represents another step in the creative partnership between CKX and Cirque du Soleil. In May, the two companies announced an agreement for the creation, development, production and promotion of Elvis Presley Projects, featuring touring and permanent shows as well as multimedia interactive "Elvis Experiences" throughout the world. CKX and Cirque du Soleil expect by 2008 to open at least one touring Elvis show in Europe and/or Asia, and one "Elvis Experience" outside the United States. Beginning in 2009, at least one Elvis Presley Project will be opened in each of the next six years.