Caesars to undergo second major refit in three years


LAS VEGAS -- With large fountains and a statue-lined entryway, Caesars Palace opened in 1966 as the most opulent place in town. But how does it compete today with such megaresorts as Paris and the Venetian?

The answer may lie in the recent announcement by new owner, Park Place, of a $60 million renovation that will begin by the end of the year.

"By the first of the year, the exterior will all be different," said Caesars Palace president and chief operating officer, Dean Harrold.

"It'll show everybody who drives by that there's something new here. Park Place is making a statement, and it'll look fantastic," he added.

The renovation is obviously an attempt to compete with newer resorts here.

"We never stop making Caesars Palace more attractive. We never stop raising the bar," said a spokeswoman. She pointed out that another $600 million renovation was completed at Caesars only two years ago.

Park Place acquired Caesars Palace's parent Caesars World from Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $3 billion last year.

The company is spending $20 million just on the facade of Caesars, according to the spokeswoman.

The design of the facade is still under way but should be completed by July, when construction is expected to start.

As part of the renovation, a new, 500-seat, 24-hour casual restaurant overlooking the Garden of the Gods will open in September.

A 90-seat Asian restaurant will replace the Bacchanal restaurant that same month.

The renovation will include upgrades at many of the suites in Caesars' Palace, Roman and Centurion towers.

More than 600 rooms and suites are slated for renovation, according to a spokeswoman.

Remodeling is timed to coincide with exterior changes.

"This way we minimize any inconvenience to our guests," the spokeswoman said.

The facility has a total of 2,454 units, she said. Room rates in June range from $89 to $239.

A dozen villas for high-end customers are also being built and are expected to be open by next May. The units will have their own private entrances and pools. No room rates have been established yet for the units designed for high-end users.

The Forum Shops also is scheduled for a new phase in the last quarter of this year. The upscale mall opened in 1992 with 240,000 square feet of leasable space. It doubled to 500,000 square feet in 1997.

The new addition will add 240,000 square feet.

There was no precise date for completion of all renovations.

Caesars has a 129,000-square-foot public casino space, including the Palace Casino, which features the resort's high-limit VIP Slot Arena with machines that accept $500 coins. It also has a 16,000-square-foot racebook and sportsbook facility with more than 90 video screens.

Caesars Palace
Phone: (702) 731-7110

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