Caesar’s Palace gets new $1 billion expansion

Harrah’s have announced that Caesar’s Palace won’t be left behind in the mad Vegas construction boom, and will have $1 billion spent on expanding the property. Part of the new expansion scheme includes the construction of a new 665 room hotel tower called the Octavius Tower, which will rise some 350 feet into the Vegas sky (or just over half the height of the new Palazzo).


From the press release:

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., (NYSE: HET) today announced an approximately $1 billion expansion of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a key initiative in the development of the company’s renowned Caesars brand. This expansion is another project in the extensive growth portfolio announced in the past 24 months by Harrah’s, including: London Clubs International, Margaritaville Casino & Resort in Biloxi, Miss., The Pier at Caesars(R) Atlantic City, a new hotel tower at Harrah’s Atlantic City, a new hotel at Harrah’s New Orleans, and a substantial expansion to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.

The center piece of the expansion is the luxurious new 665-room hotel tower — the Octavius Tower. The Octavius Tower will be located adjacent to a new 263,000-square-foot meeting and convention center. Three new luxurious pool villa suites will be built along the second floor of the new tower and will overlook three new swimming pools that will rim an expanded outdoor whirlpool spa retreat, a poolside cafe and nearby garden wedding venue. This expansion is slated for completion in early 2009.

“This billion dollar investment in our flagship property, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is an important part of our comprehensive global growth strategy,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. “From the United Kingdom to Las Vegas and beyond, we will continue to enhance our network of branded properties to deliver unforgettable guest experiences and provide good jobs for our nearly 100,000 team members around the world.”

“With 2006 operating income up 63% over the prior year and impressive increases in customer service scores during the same period, Caesars Palace hasn’t just gotten bigger since the 2005 opening of the Augustus Tower, it’s gotten better,” said Tom Jenkin, president of the Western Division of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. “Our expansion plans in Las Vegas are a reality thanks to the hard work of a great employee team.”

Octavius Tower

The heart of the Caesars Palace expansion is the Octavius Tower, located along Flamingo Road on the southeast corner of the Caesars property. The new Octavius Tower will include:

  • 665-room, 23-story hotel tower rising 350 feet;
  • 594 hotel guest rooms (floor plans from 600 square feet);
  • 19 1 1/2-bay suites;
  • 41 two- or three-bay suites;
  • 4 four-bay suites;
  • 3 five-bay suites;
  • 1 six-bay suite; and
  • 3 lavish pool villa suites.

Named for the great-nephew of Julius Caesar, who later changed his name to Augustus, the $375 million Octavius Tower will adjoin and resemble the resort’s Augustus Tower that opened in August 2005 with a new hotel registration lobby and VIP check-in lounges. In addition to convenient access from the hotel lobby and VIP reception areas, Octavius guests also will enjoy panoramic views and direct entry to swimming pools and gardens.

In addition to the new Octavius Tower, the resort’s existing 512-room Forum Tower will undergo a major refurbishment. A regal new front entrance and expanded valet parking will open to expansive new casino interior decor, inviting guests to a remodeled buffet restaurant, redesigned Cypress Street Marketplace casual restaurant and enlarged Race & Sports Book.

Internationally acclaimed designer Wilson & Associates will create Octavius Tower interiors. Spacious guest rooms will offer the finest entertainment amenities, including large, flat-panel televisions and bedside clock radios with iPod(R) docking stations. Beds will be dressed with premium linens and bolster pillows; fashion-forward matlasses (mat lah SAYS) will replace traditional duvets. Luxurious marble bathrooms will feature generous dual-head showers and whirlpool tubs, with televisions above double vanities. Bathrooms will be bathed in natural light through doors that open into the bedrooms. With a nod to the resort’s Greco-Roman heritage, guest room entry doors will be customized with Greek key patterns, where electronic doorbells and electronic “do not disturb” features will ensure guest privacy. Floors 21 through 23 will be comprised exclusively of suites; special key cards will be required to access these levels.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2009, the Octavius Tower will increase the Caesars Palace room/suite offering from 3,348 to 4,013.

“Our guests have been thrilled with the Augustus Tower and its associated upscale services and amenities,” said Gary Selesner, president of Caesars Palace. “This new expansion opens an exciting new chapter in the renaissance that began with opening of The Colosseum, and continues with the February 2008 debut of Bette Midler’s all-new production, which will be presented a minimum of two years. With a spectacular new show, new guest rooms, suites and more, Caesars Palace will be well positioned to continue to welcome the world’s most discriminating clientele.”

Pool Villas – Villa Corridor – Swimming Pools – Wedding

Along the tower’s second floor will be three pool villa suites designed to be the industry’s most coveted hotel accommodations. Each of the palatial residences will span more than 10,000 square feet. These suites will be connected by a new Villa Promenade to the resort’s existing two pool villas (10,000 and 11,000 square feet). New villas will be accessible via a private Octavius Tower entrance at Flamingo Road and by private elevator. Interior decor subtly inspired by the former Roman Empire regions of Spain, France or Greece, will feature exquisite custom furnishings and original works of art. Villa guests will be pampered with private butler service, advanced entertainment systems and private terraces overlooking the resort’s Garden of the Gods swimming pools and gardens.

Three new swimming pools will replace the resort’s Apollo pool and outdoor spas. The three will be elevated to set them apart from the Temple, Venus and Neptune pools. One (1,600 square feet) will be available only to invited guests and will offer premium amenities and services. Two 1,900-square-foot pools will adjoin the new meeting and convention addition. These pools will be created not only for hotel guest use, but also for private pool parties and catered functions.

Lush classically designed landscaping, replete with the resort’s signature fountains and statuary, will surround the pools. Scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2009, the pool expansion will accommodate added cabanas, chaise lounges and daybeds, along with a new poolside cafe, an expanded outdoor whirlpool spa retreat and a picturesque new garden wedding venue.

Meeting and Ballroom Addition

Underscoring Caesars commitment to prized convention and catering clientele, the expansion includes a 263,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting facility, constructed on two levels, and connected to the resort’s Palace Tower meeting and convention center.

The 263,000-square-foot building will feature 110,000 square feet of flexible meeting, ballroom and exhibit space with additional breakout areas, grand promenades, banquet kitchens and support facilities. Included will be two regal ballrooms, each expandable to 52,000 square feet, and two executive boardrooms. The upper tier will offer a large terrace overlooking two new swimming pools.

The addition will provide an ideal environment for product and entertainment productions, with ceiling heights of 26 and 28 feet and industry-leading audio visual and data systems. Direct access to fiber optics hubs and the perfect positioning for satellite transmission will provide efficient broadcast solutions.

Interiors will be designed by Marnell Interiors, a division of Marnell Corrao Associates of Las Vegas. These will complement the Palace Tower meeting center design. The addition will increase the property’s total meeting room offerings from 240,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet.

Site improvements including central electrical plant expansion and relocation of power lines along Flamingo Road will take place near the convention addition and along the south property border.

Forum Tower

The complete remodel of the 24-story Forum Tower will include:

  • 452 guest rooms;
  • 10 two-story suites, which became widely known after the release of the movie “Rain Man”;
  • 60 two-bay suites; and
  • 18 executive suites and two penthouses (9,500 and 12,500 square feet).

In-bedroom whirlpool bathtubs will be removed to provide more spacious sleeping and lounging environments. Like the Octavius Tower, guest accommodations will feature blissful bedding, dressed in premium linens and stylish matlasses, as well as large, flat panel televisions, iPod(R) docking stations, electronic doorbells and “do not disturb” messaging. Distinctive in the Forum Tower will be giant, marble, surround showers that can easily accommodate two people. These will be equipped with both rain shower and regular showerhead fixtures and bench seating.

The complete refurbishment of the Forum Tower is scheduled to be completed in January 2008 at a cost of $83 million. The tower’s two penthouses will be remodeled by the first quarter of 2008.

Renowned design firm Hirsch-Bedner Associates is creating all Forum Tower interiors except the two penthouses, which were created by, and will be remodeled by Wilson & Associates.

Front Entrance – Casino Remodel

The existing Caesars Palace front entrance will be expanded in breadth and height, opening to palatial new casino interiors, created by globally renowned design firm Allard & Conversano. The central ellipse will remain, highlighted by new decor and flanked by grand ceiling heights, raised to 20 feet. New interiors will extend to the Casino Cashier and Cleopatra’s Barge corridors, inviting guests to explore new dining, entertainment and gaming offerings. During the transformation of the central front entry, Caesars guests will enter and exit through resort entrances a few steps on either side of the central doors.

The construction team will be led by long-established builders and architects:

  • Marnell Architecture, Executive Architect
  • Bergman Walls, Architect of Record.
  • Marnell – Keating, Joint Venture, Contractor

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