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  • A Trip to Vegas

    This past week, I photographed a conference in Las Vegas and stayed at the Westgate Hotel, which is best known by its former names and a famous occupant: Elvis Presley.

    Built in 1969 by Kirk Kerkorian, the International Hotel was the largest in the world when it opened. Barbra Streisand was the opening-night performer, but Elvis made the hotel’s reputation. He performed there twice a year from July 1969 to December 1976, eight months before he died at age 42.

    Kerkorian sold the International to Hilton in 1970 and went on to build the MGM Grand Hotel in 1973 and the MGM Grand 20 years later. Hilton owned the property until 2012 and it was sold again to the Westgate in 2014.

    Known now for its race and sports book, which is the largest in Las Vegas, the Westgate is showing some signs of age. But it still is a huge draw for visitors, and the statue of Elvis remains in the lobby.