Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 19, 2007

Caesars Palace Adds New Tower: Octavius

Posted by Hunter

We've reported on this in the past so it's not new news, but Harrah's is unveiling the plans for the new tower coming in at Caesars Palace - the Octavius Tower.

The LV Sun has more info:

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Read archived comments (10 so far)
July 19, 2007 11:07 AM Posted by Maxine

Apparently, they are remodeling the rooms in the Forum Tower, too.

More construction !!! I actually liked the low ceilings, though. I wonder what will happen to the outdoor Roman Plaza? That might have been a better place for a new Tower, as it would have provided better views. With only 665 rooms, the new tower, way way over towards the freeway, won't have as nice views as Augustus. But, I guess they'll make up for it in terms of room amenities, perhaps. Well, if this is all supposed to be done by early 2009, they'd better get started immediately, I'd say!

Peace, Maxine

July 19, 2007 12:05 PM Posted by detroit1051

Maxine, thanks for adding Harrah's press release. It gives a lot of good detail.
I stayed at Caesars for the first time in June '06 and was very impressed with the Augustus Tower. It was as nice as any property I've been. It's reassuring that even though Harrah's is going private, funds are being committed to enhance its properties. I would like them to try to tie Caesars' casinos together. It's a real hodge-podge of different styles.
My photos of the Augustus Tower room were posted here last year. They're at the end of the album:

Now, who can tell us about the architects, builders and designers? Is Caesars using the right ones?
*Internationally acclaimed designer Wilson & Associates will create Octavius Tower interiors.
*Meeting and Ballroom addition:
Interiors will be designed by Marnell Interiors, a division of Marnell Corrao Associates of Las Vegas.
*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.
*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 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

July 19, 2007 2:40 PM Posted by Maxine

Caesars has always been home base for me, from the very first time I went to 2000---and they were popular then. I can't imagine a Christmas without staying at Caesars!

From the very first time I ever heard about the merger, I thought it was a good idea. A lot of people predicted doom and gloom, but I thought it was a good idea because it gave them casinos in all different price points---there's strength in numbers, and they're certainly committed to the properties. They're doing very well. I think they're doing better than MGM, even. They've really shown a willingness to invest in their properties, and even though construction is a hassle, it seems to have paid off in the long run.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the low ceilings...always liked to reach up and touch those little crystals hanging down !!! I really hope, for all the trouble they're going to go to, they make it a fancy ceiling with murals or some such. The tall ceilings over by Pure and Mesa, are, yes, tall---but rather non-descript otherwise. It seems like a waste to break through walls and raise a ceiling if they aren't going to make it fancy enough.

Peace, Maxine

July 19, 2007 2:57 PM Posted by Mike E

Wilson & Associates is no stranger to high-end interiors. Among their work include Caesars' two villas and The Mansion:

"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."

I hope they don't mess with the original casino pit at the front entrance. There's a special vibe to that place with its "old school elegance". You can't even get that at the Nugget anymore.

July 19, 2007 6:26 PM Posted by John

Well, the interesting thing here is another new general contractor on the strip. I'm wondering how Marnell Keating is going to do. Both Marnell, most of us obviously know the association *cough*Wynn*cough*, and Keating, a company that looks to have built the somewhat successful Tropicana expansion in Atlantic City, look to be, and are in Marnell's case, very respectable firms. The only question I have is, how is this going to affect the overall general contractor game in general in Vegas? I mean, Perini seems to be the king now, but will it steadliy lose that ranking as up and coming joint ventures, etc., like Tutor-Saliba and Marnell-Keating, take that "thunder" away from the likes of Perini?

For me, it's almost a spectacle to see new companies like this expand their influence and customer base on the Strip.

The other really interesting thing is that Harrah's doesn't want to go with Perini on this expansion. Like I stated above, and we have been told countless times, Perini seems to be THE company in Las Vegas when it comes to building resorts on time and under budget, but Harrah's doesn't really want anything to do with them. Fairly intersting...

Also, about the expansion itself, I'm farily excited. I don't think the tower has been placed in the perfect location (I thought it would have been perfect in the location that the event center occupies now, but oh well), but I think Harrah's realizes that this property is their golden goose and that they really need to keep up appearances, especially when you look at all of the competition coming on the strip in the next five years. So, this will definitely be something to watch in the coming months....

July 19, 2007 7:03 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike E, thanks for the link to Wilson. I wonder if Wilson's Photo #4 of The Mansion is where they now serve breakfast. When you go, we want a report.

July 20, 2007 3:04 AM Posted by Mike E

Detroit, you will most certainly get a report, though I'm hoping I can dish it out before I leave the country on the 28th for a few weeks.

I did ask my concierge if breakfast at The Mansion was possible claiming that a friend of mine was able to do it. She said if they have seats available (whatever that actually means--I highly doubt a place can become fully committed for breakfast when it's surrounded by only 29 rooms), they can most certainly accommodate.

July 20, 2007 12:57 PM Posted by marlymarr

Mike E. Thanks for the link, I've never seen photos of the mansion.

July 21, 2007 4:16 PM Posted by Rob C

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the design for this new tower is quite boring? There is really nothing architecturally unique about it (in comparison to the other 2 towers). It just seems fairly humdrum, and of course a less-than-ideal location i think

July 22, 2007 4:48 PM Posted by Maxine

They want to have a unity between the other two buildings. I don't know why there isn't a triangular pediment up at the top, like the other two, though. True, the design doesn't really do anything to enhance Flamingo, the street itself, and open that street up. It sort of walls off Flamingo. --A curtain of highrise cement. I do like the Greco-Roman style, though. It's a little bit more festive, and regal than just an ordinary high-rise. What's going on at City Center---now those buildings are very generic and bland---from the drawings. Maybe what actually gets built at City Center will look different from the way it looks on paper---we'll see.

Maybe the problem is that Vegas is becoming nothing but highrises. What made Vegas so distinctive was the open spaces...the expansiveness of the desert itself. It seems they've lost that "desert" expansive feeling with all these new highrises, and it's just another big city anywhere else.

What's nice about Caesars, though, is that they aren't abandoning the theme. Harrah's is committed to keeping the Greco-Roman charm, somewhat, while other places are de-theming. I still like the charm and old Vegas-style of a good theme place, if done right.