Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

The Palazzo is rising between Wynn Las Vegas and The Venetian and despite being a $1.5 billion project, it's not been getting a lot of press.

Well, the VegasEye has some new info on Palazzo in today's edition.

They report that TV chef Mario Batali is set to open TWO eateries in the new complex and it will feature a dress-down nightclub/lounge called 'Rocket'.

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Read archived comments (50 so far)
January 30, 2007 10:31 AM Posted by John

Robin Leach reported the Batali detail, about a week, or so, ago in his "Luxe Life" blog. He also stated that Adelson has set a firm Oct. 1 opening date for the property, wherein each of the celebrity chefs (Batali, Puck, and Lagasse, to name a few) must have their respective eateries up to snuff for the gala parties, etc.

Honestly, I don't know, but those construction crews are going to be working 24-7-365 to get that thing open by October.

January 30, 2007 12:10 PM Posted by Nathan

As I'm one of the few (if anyone else) that likes the Venetian, it's hard to believe that Palazzo will be open by October. The building hasn't even topped out! And after hearing about the mess with the opening of the Venetian, I hope history doesn't repeat itself again. Oh PS, if anybody wants to know. I went ahead and applied for my internest at Wynn, hoping to do public relations. Not sure when I'll hear back. Wish me luck!

January 30, 2007 4:05 PM Posted by Christian

Hey Nathan, best of luck to ya. When I finish college I might see you.

January 30, 2007 6:46 PM Posted by Christian

Hunter, I beleive this would make a great topic:

It almost relates to my earlier post about the massive growth of Las Vegas. I would love to see how others respond to this info.

January 30, 2007 6:52 PM Posted by Chris

I don't understand why the concept of Rocket would be incorporated into Palazzo - isn't Palazzo supposed to be generally aimed at a higher-end crowd? Trying to mix high-rollers in villas with guys in shorts drinking magaritas from plastic cups is not going to make either group feel very comfortable spending their money in Palazzo. Say what you want about Steve Wynn, but at least he had the common sense not to put a 20,000 sq. ft. Kahunaville in Bellagio.

January 31, 2007 1:18 PM Posted by rob

Im not suure that I completely understand the Palazzo. Are they going to market it as "The Palazzo Tower at the Venetian!" (similar the THEHotel at Mandalay) or are they trying to makeit it own seperate entity all together? From what ive heard, it seems like they want it as one huge single complex, but the palazzo and venetian are two very different places. I just find it kinda weird that they will market it as one place.

January 31, 2007 2:57 PM Posted by Hunter

The marketing will be distinct.

They are saying it will be the largest integrated resort complex in the world but it is its own place... They share some BOH stuff and of course there are common access areas but it will have its distinct marketing message.

January 31, 2007 5:49 PM Posted by Chris

Hunter is right, the Palazzo/Venetian relationship will be more like the Paris/Bally's relationship than anything else currently on the strip.

January 31, 2007 5:53 PM Posted by Brian Fey

If this place opens in October I'll be so shocked, I'll stay there and not Wynn on my next trip!

January 31, 2007 6:36 PM Posted by Christian

Just passed by it today...there's no way they can finish it in time!

They used the exact same windows as the Venetian.

January 31, 2007 7:22 PM Posted by motoman

Brian!!! [gasp!]

Seems a soft opening is inevitable. Looking over the history timeline, I was surprised Paris opened very shortly after the date of record for Venetian, yet I'm sure we walked the public areas of Venetian the same year we saw welders still working the Paris tower. I don't know how that was possible, but my memory's not that feeble...yet.... . . . .

One reason for the mixed message, rob, I think is so they can brag the "world's biggest hotel complex." Maybe current leader -MGM Grand oughta roll The Signature into their numbers now....

February 1, 2007 2:10 PM Posted by mike_ch

Yes, they pick and choose whether or not Palazzo is a tower or whether it's a "boutique hotel" judging on when it suits them. Fits Sheldy's attitude of trying to claim as many superlatives as possible. :)

February 1, 2007 7:37 PM Posted by Devon

Hunter, didn't you say that you got some info. in exchange for giving some contractor some palazzo pictures?

BTW, I'm seeing the whole Palazzo site as being a huge mess of the future. I have the same admiration for Adelson as several people on this blog have for a certain wynn. I think the pool deck will be chaotic, and the combined hotels will be WAY overpowering. The size of the place, at over 7000 rooms, will be intimidating to the average tourist if they integrate the two resorts. Also, the level of service at both hotels will most likely drop.

February 3, 2007 5:02 AM Posted by detroit1051

The Review Journal gives a few more insights into Palazzo. I believe it will be a much better executed property than Venetian and will be huge for LVS.

February 3, 2007 10:57 AM Posted by motoman

Well well well....Gotta admit, sounds very impressive indeed.

Locking in the price of steel, buying their own cranes, forming their own subcontractor companies. (Maybe that's common on large construction projects, I don't know.) Also interesting how the two big villas seem aimed at a strictly Asian customer -- elevators directly to the baccarat pit! LVS will have huge advantages over Wynn with much greater presence in Macau to draw whales from, and especially the much higher construction costs Wynn will face once he turns his attention to the golf course.

The design is fascinating as well. Thinking vertically, with parking and BOH beneath a 50 story tower! We've discussed here how the insane land values on the Strip are driving density, and here Mr. Stone compares Palazzo to a Manhattan skyscraper. Interesting stuff.

February 4, 2007 10:03 AM Posted by John

I've always been very weary of underground parking structures, simply for safety reasons. In today's world, I would hope that LVS has thought of precautions against someone driving a white van full of fertilizer, into the parking structure. I don't know if they have installed, or are planning on installing some sort of discrete bomb detection system in the resort.

Also, one of the questions that comes to mind, when we talk about the marketting of the resort, is that I remember hearing, I think from Hunter, that LVS set out to renovate the rooms in the main Venetian tower, to more closely replicate the offerings at Palazzo, so I'm wondering if this is just a step towards the modernazation of the resort tower, or if they are planning on combining the resorts' offerings?

February 4, 2007 11:34 AM Posted by mike_ch

I agree on the garage and meant to ask Leonard if he had any input on that sort of thing, since he's the voice of experience for designing buildings around these parts.

I can only assume that if they're building it that they must have deemed it safe, but then some other garages underneath hotel towers have been closed down to the public, like the lot under the Bally's west tower that has become only for employees now.

February 4, 2007 1:34 PM Posted by Mike E

It does sound like a more impressive project than the Venetian. Seems like Adelson is putting in more effort.

Stone is trying to sell the resort as revolutionary and it is for mega-resort standards with its "shoe-horning" approach to space. That I can admire.

But am I the only one who thinks his quotes about space and guest convenience mirror Wynn's pre-WLV opening? It's nothing new. Something tells me Adelson will start claiming *he* brought "intimacy" to Las Vegas when in reality he was just short on land. All his other guest-convenient approaches to design have already been done. Villa elevators that go straight to the baccarat pit? Am I the only one who's ventured deep enough into Bellagio's pit to know this was already done nearly nine years ago?

February 4, 2007 2:21 PM Posted by detroit1051

It's unfortunate that parking structure security has to enter our minds, but I join John and Mike_c in being wary. Bellagio's underground North Parking Garage near the shopping area has been closed to self-parking since after 9/11. It is still used for Valet.
I've never liked MGM Grand's garage because of its distance from the hotel/casino, but that distance minimizes the security issue.
I have to wonder what benefit there is to Bellagio's "trunk checks" at the entrance to the parking structure. If the trunk is filled with bags, how do they know what's in them. At The Mirage, the guards ususally wave the cars in with no inspection of any kind but, like MGM Grand, at least parking is separated from the hotel/casino building.
Venetian gives me the most concern. They built the Venezia Tower over the existing parking structure. Also, Sheldon Adelson has become a very visible and generous philanthropist to many Israeli and Jewish causses. In this age of terrorists, many of whom are Islamic, I would hope Adelson and his properties would not be targeted. I trust Venetian and Palazzo have security we don't see. What a world!

February 4, 2007 3:27 PM Posted by Chris

Palazzo won't likely be any more of a target than Venetian has ever been, which is equally vulnerable to that kind of destruction - as are most buildings in the city and in fact the country. Putting your parking lot beside the building instead of under it may help you sleep better but it doesn't really guarantee you any kind of additional safety.

But moving on to less depressing thoughts - why only 2 mega-villas at Palazzo? Wynn has 6 on that level, Bellagio has 9 or 10. Ironically, even the old "Palazzo Suites" at the Rio consists of more than 2 villas (although God knows what the Rio is using them for these days.) Any idea if the 2 villas at Palazzo are going to be complimented by high-end penthouses in the tower that haven't been mentioned yet?

February 4, 2007 3:28 PM Posted by John

Interesting point about Venezia, Detroit. I've been surprised, when I've stayed at the Venetian, that the parking garage security guards just wave the cars through. My only thought on that would be that they are only looking for certain cars, maybe white, unmarked vans. However, in that case, why not just call it profiling?

It is quite sad, when you now have to take things like this into consideration, when building a casino. However, with land the way it is today, what can you do?

Also, another resort that hasn't been mentioned in this is Wynn. When Encore is completed, the parking garage will be surrounded by low rise buildings, that will house the casinos, garden, etc., in which hundreds of people will pass through daily. What will there be to stop someone from completely destroying that major portion of the resort?

February 4, 2007 6:40 PM Posted by Mike E

Chris, I can see the two high-end villas they're referring to in the model shots just above the entrance, but if you look closely at the base of the tower, in the same manner as Bellagio's villas, there are a set of several more.

Who knows at what level of luxury these will be, but they all seem to have their own private pools.

February 4, 2007 7:35 PM Posted by John

Another thing about the model. If you look towards the top of the tower, on the north and south sides, you can see a "green-house"/solarium type structures, which hint at open air, multi-story suites. However, if you look even closer at the model ( has a Palazzo thread that shows some "in-detail" close-ups) you can see doorways that will lead out to balconies. I wonder if these are going to be some sort of sky villas? Or, if they will just be regular suites with balconies.

Also, one thing that the article didn't mention, that I've been wondering about, is wether the Paiza Club, LVS' worldwide high roller club/suites, will make an appearance at Palazzo? The club has already made its debut at the Venetian (on the Penthouse level), and I've been wondering if Palazzo will have an even more secluded, yet luxurious? I guess we'll have to wait for more details.

February 4, 2007 10:29 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

mike_ch, I will try and answer the points that you brought up in connection with the safety + effective use of subterranean below-grade parking as being the best possible solution when considerding limited site development area opposed to the square footage required for high rise construction above-grade. With respect to phase two of the Venetian expansion (i.e. Venezia Tower), the 'original' Venetian five or six story parking structure was specifically + structurally designed to accommodate the load of this tower from day one, so this is of no concern whatsoever. As far as the subterranean below-grade multi-level 4,000+ parking for Palazzo + the future condo tower, this is the only way to maximize valuable per square foot parking acommodations under the current conditions. Back when my father designed the International Hotel + subsequently the original MGM Grand, the majority of valet + preferred parking was actually subterranean + below-grade. Since, at the time, there was significantly more site area available, all of the above grade surface parking was relegated to "self" park, etc. Today, it is no longer effective nor feasible to build below-grade parking (with the exception of Palazzo + Cosmo) due to limited land use allocation. Detroit, I DO agree with you regarding the MGM Grand parking garage, which has actually been extended further to the east over the past several years, however, although my father was the consulting architect on that project at the inststence of both Kerkorian + the late Fred Benninger, his main focus was on the casino+ public space planning as well as the tower configuration. Although Kerkorian had personally tried to convince my father to undertake the 'entire project' himself, after the MGM Grand fire of 1980 [his firm's] Errors + Omissions (E+O) insurance premium had escalated by ten times or more, and accordinding to what my father told me, MGM would not agree to pay those premiums in addition to his architectural fees. As "consulting architect" he had no liability exposure whatsoever + ended up making more money than Simpson did at the end of the day. At any rate, Veldon Simpson's last job was "executive architect" of the latest MGM Grand, Luxor, Excalibur + the Circus Adventuredome. He hasn't been involved in the design of a major property ever since! The only real leverage that Steve has with trying to "hinder" + otherwise obstruct Adelson is the fact that Steve owns that petty little parcel of land for parking directly east of the Sands Expo which Sheldon desperately needs to expand. At the end of the day, since Wynn thinks this will rsult in some type of major coup in getting even with Adelson, there is no doubt whatsoever, that Sheldon will ultimately prevail. The Venetian/Palazzo project, when complete, will be the largest resort in the world at over 7,000 rooms + the best Strip traffic that WLV can expect will be spillover (even after Encore is completed) from this massive project.

February 4, 2007 11:26 PM Posted by Christian

If you can blow up a van, you can blow yourself up. Where is the line drawn for security? It seems to me that terrorists would coordinate suicide bombers in a casino to really hit us where it hurts. I wouldn't worry about a parking garage less, but the opportunity to hit any hotel is always there. If someone wants to make it happen, god willing it doesn't, they will find a way. Let's just hope the developers did take into consideration the point brought up about securing the garage more than a wave through by a 65 year old retired cop.

I'm just saying that an increase in security at the Palazzo would only be worthwhile if these measures stuck and were not loosened. Other properties should follow suit.

February 5, 2007 6:26 AM Posted by detroit1051

John, regarding the room renovation program at Venetian, William Weidner did discuss it in LVS' last conference call. I believe he said the goal was to have all the rooms done, in the same style as Palazzo, by the time Palazzo opens. Weidner is an excellent speaker. I'm sure we'll all get much more information later today on the Quarterly Conference Call. We can listen this afternoon at:

February 5, 2007 10:53 AM Posted by mike_ch

Thank you for the information, Leonard. Am I to assume from what you wrote then, that underground parking is still not very safe, but just something we'll have to live with as land gets more tight on the Strip?

I imagine developers have learned things from the first WTC bombing (and likely Oklahoma City) to reduce the amount of infrastructure damage in the result of a blast?

February 5, 2007 1:08 PM Posted by detroit1051

It should be an interesting Call at 4:30PM EST.

"Las Vegas Sands Corp. Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2006 Results
Monday February 5, 4:00 pm ET
Achieves Record Consolidated Adjusted Property EBITDAR of $831.5 Million for the Full Year 2006 and $244.3 Million for the Fourth Quarter of 2006
The Venetian Achieves Record Quarterly Adjusted Property EBITDAR of $134.1 Million, the Highest Earned by Any Property in the History of Las Vegas"

February 5, 2007 3:44 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

detroit: If I recall correctly, I had previously predicted "substantial" positive earnings results for LVS, however these numbers, as officially reported, are simply ASTOUNDING + far exceeded Wall Street's expectations by Leaps and Bounds! Considering that LVS are currently able to report this level of profitability, even while two of their most ambitious developments are simultaneously in various phases of construction (i.e. Venetian Macau + Palazzo) imagine what [their] earnings results will be when these two properties officially open for business? And just wait until Adelson launches his multi-billion dollar Singapore project which is expected to be on the level of "world-class architecture" a la CityCenter. mike_ch: I think you might have possibly misinterpreted my comment concerning subterranean parking. Actually, due to the increased foundation support system + substantially beefed-up continious shear walls, the below-grade parking are actually MORE structurally efficient than above-grade reinforced concrete structures. You cite the original WTC bombing attempt (remember that the WTC was a late 1960-early 1970's era structural tower design with outboard support columns never used before) whereby the above grade 110 story towers suffered relatively little physical damage after the explosives were set off in the underground garage, which pretty much confirms my point. It is kind of like comparing a (late model) convertible car to the strucural inegrity of a rigid sedan, the convertible is far more structurally sound than the hardtop.

February 5, 2007 7:12 PM Posted by John

Leonard, a friend of mine, who is a structural engineer, has told me that the Palazzo was designed specifically, to prevent certain acts of terrorism. By that, I mean the resort was uses the central elevator core, as its strongest structural component. The core, has three differnt uses, for the building structural integrity and security. One, it acts as a central support piece for the resort; two, if, God forbid, the one of the tower's wings is struck by an airliner, similar to September 11th, the core will act as a "retention wall" of sorts to prevent, in a worst case scenario, the rest of the tower from collapsing, if the damaged wing collapses; three, the core is a very strong and "dense" structure that should show some semplence of strength and integrity if it is struck, directly, by a plane, etc. The resort, has been designed extremely well, according to my source, who also noted that it will be leaps in bounds, in terms of design and appearance, ahead of its sister property.

February 6, 2007 2:08 AM Posted by Chris B

I agree with Christian - some of you seem fairly paranoid about the underground car park bomb scenario. If a terrorist truly has the will to cause wanton destruction in Las Vegas or any other place, then car park / hotel designs aren't really going to stop him (or her, for that matter). Besides, the statistics show that people are far more likely to die choking on food or hitting a deer in their car (or any number of other silly things that nobody ever thinks twice about) than at the hands of a terrorist, which is not unlike the equally irrational fear of bird flu, which has killed a ridiculously tiny number of people but seems to get a mention from time to time by those who want to accentuate the negatives about Asia.

February 6, 2007 4:20 PM Posted by Hunter

Speaking of construction, KLAS is reporting that a wall has collapsed at CityCenter and two men are trapped inside. No more details were available.

February 6, 2007 5:36 PM Posted by Hunter

Sounds like a serious accident:

February 10, 2007 8:53 AM Posted by Brett

Returning back to the original post, The two Batali restaurants are actually set two open in the Venetian, not the Palazzo. B&B Ristorante is set to open accross from Delmonico and Enotecca San Marco is being built adjacent to Canaletto. Also, as far as the opening goes, I spoke with some associates at one of the more popular Grand Canal Shoppes stores with plans to move to a larger space at the Palazzo, and they say they are now being told January instead of October. Obviously this is heresay, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

February 11, 2007 12:07 AM Posted by mike_ch

Hi guys. I almost wish this was a message board style system because I could share details with you from tonight's crazy story of watching LOVE get rained out. Yep, rained. Anyway, it's a pretty dull show to begin with IMO.

Anyway, I passed by the Palazzo site and there's just no way that hotel will be done in time. I mean, yeah, in some areas now it looks good to go, but there's other areas that still look like a bare bones construction site. Is opening the casino first and the hotel later an actual legitimate option? If so, that might be what they're planning for.

Also, good ol' Uncle Sheldy has begun repairing the fire damage to the clocktower. There's now a white mold over the damaged section that needs to be painted and however otherwise themed.

February 11, 2007 12:59 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, I love it when people send an email to to suggest topics... Mike - sounds like you have a good story!

February 12, 2007 11:55 AM Posted by Hunter

The photos I was promised by the guys doing the steel over there finally came through.

You'll see them a couple of shots in.

February 12, 2007 3:09 PM Posted by Mike E

Great shots! Judging the scale of the suite wing to the person in the shot, it looks like some of Palazzo's suites will have very high ceilings and huge windows--larger than I've ever seen anyway.

...unless, of course, the guy in the shot is a midget.

April 1, 2008 7:15 PM Posted by VegasLEO

Obviously, you people know nothing of the hotel or the people who own or work there. Sheldy as you refer to the owner is actually Sheldon. The hotel as many others usually always open with some construction left to complete, usually back of the house. It's important to open the casino as soon as possible to get revenue flowing. They knew it would take at least a quarter to see siginificant numbers coming in. The Macow property is bringing in so much money the Sands Corporation LLC, doesn't really place to much worry in whether or not the Las Vegas properties do exceptionally well all year. Trust me, Mr. Aldelson knows how to make money and his right hand man Mr. Weidner is the brains behind the multi-billion dollar operation and they got everything under control, period!!!

April 1, 2008 7:15 PM Posted by VegasLEO

Obviously, you people know nothing of the hotel or the people who own or work there. Sheldy as you refer to the owner is actually Sheldon. The hotel as many others usually always open with some construction left to complete, usually back of the house. It's important to open the casino as soon as possible to get revenue flowing. They knew it would take at least a quarter to see siginificant numbers coming in. The Macow property is bringing in so much money the Sands Corporation LLC, doesn't really place to much worry in whether or not the Las Vegas properties do exceptionally well all year. Trust me, Mr. Aldelson knows how to make money and his right hand man Mr. Weidner is the brains behind the multi-billion dollar operation and they got everything under control, period!!!

April 1, 2008 7:17 PM Posted by Hunter

Ok genius, 'Sheldy' is an (affectionate?) nickname.

At least I didn't misspell Macau/Macao.

Also, this thread is a YEAR OLD. Why would you leave a post like that when so much more has been written and discovered on this topic since then?

I stayed in the hotel for its official opening weekend and cataloged an entire post worth of unfinished FRONT OF HOUSE items.

There is STILL blue painter's tape in public areas as of today.

You know not what you speak. Cheers!

April 1, 2008 11:10 PM Posted by John

Not to mention the fact that some of the rooms they are renting out to guests are still not entirely finished. When we first arrived last week, we were checked into a room that was still missing the draperies that form the over-bed canopies. So, take from that what you will, but, personally, all I really had to say was, "bad show." Oh, and yeah, having the previous guest's crumbs, standing water in the ice bucket, and hotel registration packet made things even more....oh, what word am I looking for....luxurious? No, no wait. Oh yeah, disgusting.

April 2, 2008 1:56 PM Posted by mike_ch

John: So, take from that what you will, but, personally, all I really had to say was, "bad show."

Bad show? Disney fan, huh?

April 3, 2008 12:19 AM Posted by a

VegasLEO �> Leonard Stern???

April 3, 2008 6:22 PM Posted by steve_c

I an ex-coworker of mine just stayed two nights with some friends at Palazzo last week. When they arrived to their room, they noticed a man coming out of "their" room. Thinking it was a Palazzo employee, they unlocked the door and found someone else's luggage all over the room, the bed messy, and various travel things in the bathroom. Getting freaked out, they called the front desk and informed them that they rented them a room that already had someone in it. Needless to say, the Palazzo desk staff upped them to one of the higher "suites" and comped a night. Yeah, I'll be holding off on staying there until I don't hear things like this anymore. Honestly don't hear of this happening over in MGM/Mirage properties... I'll stick with either Mirage, TI or Mandalay, thank you.

April 4, 2008 10:28 AM Posted by doc_al

"Honestly don't hear of this happening over in MGM/Mirage properties... "

Actually, that's exactly what happened to friends of mine trying to check into a Mirage suite last weekend. First assigned suite - someone else's luggage. Second suite - man sleeping in bed. Third suite (guaranteed by desk clerk that it was empty) - has *several* people asleep in it.

Mgmt bumped my friends to an (empty) 2 BR suite and took something off the bill, among other things. Not sure what they did for the person that got stuck in a malfunctioning elevator (same party, same trip, same property).

April 4, 2008 10:35 AM Posted by Hunter

I think this stuff can and does happen everywhere, though maybe some places more than others...

Honestly, though, how the hell does this happen? I am having a hard time imagining it - either the room is occupied or not and the computer should be pretty clear on this topic.

April 4, 2008 11:38 AM Posted by mike_ch

Didn't Detroit or Mike E or someone else here wind up getting a room at Bellagio already occupied, and they tried to offer a downgraded room over the phone instead? I seem to remember a TR like this.

April 4, 2008 12:29 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike_ch, you've got a good memory. In my March 2006 trip report, I described being forced to move out of my Bellagio Suite into another even though I was there first. LOL.

Then, the one time I stayed at Venetian, I was given a handicap-accessible room twice. Both times, the front desk clerk said it was impossible because "the computer says it's a regular room." I can't find that trip report.

April 7, 2008 7:17 AM Posted by doc_al

I'm not surprised that this happens - a database that tracks a physical inventory is always just a "best guess" anyway. What was unfortunate in this case is that after the first or second time, hotel management didn't take it into their hands to walk up and make sure the guest got settled. At some point, I would think you'd like to stop looking like an idiot to your customer.

However, I'm continually amazed at how well things *do* work at these 3000+ room hotels. I've run into issues more frequently with 300 room or less hotels.