A company connected with Graceland Holdings managing partner Joel Weinshanker, that used space at the Westgate for an Elvis Presley exhibit must pay the Las Vegas resort more than $2.2 million for defaulting on a lease, the resort’s chief operating officer said this week.
A court-appointed arbitrator in California ruled that Joel Weinshanker’s company, Exhibit A Circle, a Delaware limited liability company, owed the resort for 28,000 square feet of exhibit space that held 350 historical artifacts, including The King’s first gold album and his high school yearbooks.
“We are disappointed that the Elvis legacy had to be dragged through this court case, but we’re very happy with the outcome,” Westgate COO
Mark Waltrip told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday. “Hopefully the Elvis fans will understand we’re doing everything we can to protect Elvis’ legacy, but there are some things we can’t control.”
Weinshanker’s Las Vegas attorney, Ogonna Brown, could not be reached for comment.
Graceland Holdings LLC, led by managing partner Joel Weinshanker, is the majority owner of EPE.
The artifacts came into the Westgate’s possession after it signed an agreement in late 2014 to host “Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition — The Show — The Experience.” The Westgate closed the exhibit within a year after Weinshanker threatened to default on the lease.
But a lawsuit filed in early 2016 by EPE which is licensed by the Delaware LLC, over ownership of the artifacts is ongoing in Clark County District Court. That suit was put on hold while the arbitrator ruled on the rent money.
“It’s a significant step that an independent judge reviewed all the facts and came to the conclusion that Joel Weinshanker purposely defaulted on a lease and owes us money,” Waltrip said, “We want to get paid what is due to us, and we want to make sure that the Elvis artifacts are protected and given to the proper home.”