In the lobby of the Westgate Las Vegas casino, a larger-than-lifesize bronze statue of Elvis Presley welcomes visitors. This place was his home, after all, from 1969 to 1976, back when it was the International Hotel, and later the Las Vegas Hilton.
What was supposed to be a four-week residency for Elvis turned into a 7-year stay in which “The King” performed 636 shows -- a record that stood until Saturday, when Barry Manilow, the king of soft rock and adult contemporary, gave his 637th performance at the casino-hotel that sits on the corner of Paradise Road and Elvis Presley Boulevard.
Fun fact: the plaque attached to the bronze Elvis at Westgate incorrectly claims he performed 837 sold-out concerts in the building.
At Saturday’s Manilow show, Clark County officials presented the 80-year-old "Copacabana" icon with a key to the Las Vegas Strip, for his longevity at the famed off-Strip venue, and declared Sept. 23 Barry Manilow Day across Las Vegas. (Manilow received a key to the city, not just the Strip, in 2022.)
During the concert, Manilow wore a red jacket from Presley's 1977 tour and performed covers of "Hound Dog" and other Elvis classics.
After 14 years at the Westgate's International Theater, Manilow’s not stopping any time soon. Just last week he announced a full slate of 2024 concert dates at the renowned casino venue.
But he has a lot of songs to sing before he catches up to Donny and Marie Osmond, who belted out 1,730 concerts over the course of an 11-year run at the Flamingo hotel and casino. And Wayne Newton, 81, known as “Mr. Las Vegas,” has performed an estimated 25,000 shows in Sin City and is still going.