Reed Travel Features
LAS VEGAS -- Harrah's Entertainment unveiled the first phase of
a $200 million expansion program at its property here.
Harrah's Las Vegas opened a 10,000-square-foot addition to its
The new gaming space features a Carnaval theme that soon will
highlight the entire casino and replace the old riverboat
Harrah's Las Vegas, which is the largest of the firm's
properties, also soon will debut a number of other ambitious
The centerpiece of the expansion program, which is set to be
completed in phases throughout 1997, is a dramatic transformation
of the exterior and interior, which will bring to the property a
Mardi Gras and Carnaval atmosphere reminiscent of the colorful
celebrations of those events.
The property's former giant riverboat facade already has been
removed and is being replaced by a European-style facade adorned
with dark glass and brilliant colors.
Harrah's also is capitalizing on its prime location on the Strip
by creating a festive atmosphere to entice passersby to venture
into the property.
For example, Carnaval Court, a plaza area offering an
entertainment-oriented retail experience, will feature decorative
palms, a fountain, music and strolling performers.
A grand entranceway with a Brazilian-themed lounge, the first
indoor and outdoor bar on the Strip, will lead customers to the
property's new casino carrying the Mardi Gras and Carnaval
Besides the 10,000 square feet of casino space that recently
premiered, Harrah's will add 23,000 square feet of additional
casino space, bringing the property's total to 103,325 square
A new hotel tower will feature 986 standard rooms and 74 suites,
bringing the property's total count to 2,699 rooms and 108
Harrah's also is creating six specialty restaurants as part of
Included in the lineup will be a steakhouse, an Asian
restaurant, an Italian venue, a buffet, a 24-hour cafe and a
specialty coffee shop.
Upon completion of the project in 1997, the property will become
the flagship in the Harrah's Entertainment lineup.
Although Harrah's already enjoys a strong position in the Las
Vegas marketplace, the firm said attention to its facilities is
vital to competitive positioning and long-term success.
The expansion program at Harrah's Las Vegas is just one facet of
an ambitious growth strategy designed to solidify Harrah's
Entertainment's position as the most diversified firm in the
The strategy, which Harrah's unveiled last year, includes
pouring more than $1 billion into expansion and enhancements at its
existing properties and into new developments in markets where the
firm already has a presence.
Harrah's also said it will pursue acquisition of companies or
properties that fit strategically within its brand or offer an
opportunity for a second brand.
The growth initiative includes investing more than $450 million
over the next few years in improvements at Harrah's properties in
Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Shreveport, La., and Joliet, Ill.
Improvements will include the addition of more than 3,000 new guest
rooms, new casino space, and enhanced or expanded restaurant and
Under the growth plan, Harrah's also said it would invest
approximately $600 million on a second property in Las Vegas to
complement its expanded and enhanced existing property.
In addition to the domestic efforts, Harrah's also said it would
explore opportunities for international growth through development
The firm made its first move into the international gaming
market with the opening of Harrah's Sky City in Auckland, New
Zealand, in February 1996.