Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 1, 2008

Open Topic Discussion - November 1, 2008

Posted by detroit1051

A friend said he had heard that Caesars Palace has mothballed the entire Centurion Tower due to lack of demand. Centurion Tower is 14 stories and opened in 1970. Can anyone confirm this?


Read archived comments (27 so far)
November 1, 2008 2:08 PM Posted by mike_ch

I would doubt that. Wouldn't they want to mothball the Roman Tower, the oldest of the currently standing buildings at Caesars? It's about as old as opening day, I believe.

The Centurion Tower has the Rainman Suite on the top, and that's well known for having a high price tag. Roman Tower doesn't have any rooms of legend that I know of.

November 2, 2008 4:29 AM Posted by detroit1051

“How many places like this can you go in America that are not in the desert?” said Jeffrey Soffer, executive chairman and majority partner of Fontainebleau Resorts, which is building a Fontainebleau in Las Vegas.

The pre-opening hype is starting for Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Later this month, I believe we're going to get a preview of the Strip's FB. And, yes, I still expect FB to get a casino within five years.

November 2, 2008 8:10 AM Posted by Phil

Couple things, the Forum Tower was used for RainMan, not the Centurion. The Centurion's claim to fame was in the movie titled Pleasure Palace which starred Omar Shariff as the best gambler in the world. Actress Hope Lange played the owner of Caesars Palace and her owner suite was used for filming both inside and outside of the suite on top of the Centurion Tower. If I recall correctly it was in the late 80's that they removed the patio roof top pool of that suite due to leakage problems.

November 2, 2008 9:13 AM Posted by Mike P.

I saw tourists exiting a Centurion tower elevator Saturday evening.

November 2, 2008 9:14 AM Posted by detroit1051

This week's Zoning Commission Agenda includes a few items related to Strip properties. HET is requesting a delay in submitting a master plan for Caesars Palace and Paris wants to delay expansions to Paris. These are not surprising considering the current environment.

November 6, 2008 7:48 AM Posted by Phil

Breaking news I saw on CNBC and now on Review Journal. I think we all knew the stock price went in the tank, but now they're hinting at closing its doors.

November 7, 2008 1:43 PM Posted by detroit1051

This is OT because it deals with Florida, but I liked Dave Schwartz' great description of our split personality here:
"Baptist and Bootlegger Coalition".

November 7, 2008 3:46 PM Posted by JK

Tickets for Terry Fator's new show at the Mirage go on sale Nov. 19. I've really been looking forward to this show as I have been unable to see his show at the Hilton, but this show will be as frequent as Danny Gans' show.

November 8, 2008 10:10 AM Posted by detroit1051

Harrah's held its Quarterly Conference Call which included three items which caught my attention. First, the good news. Octavius Tower is still on track for a July '09 completion.

The other two topics are not as upbeat.

"Maintenance capital expenditure usually runs 4-5 percent of net revenue. That is being reduced to half of the normal amount or less.
Many of Harrah’s properties have been recently renovated and competitors also will be cutting back maintenance spending so Harrah’s should not be at a competitive disadvantage, Loveman said."

As the slowdown continues, especially at LVS and even MGM, I'm concerned that maintenance and general property upkeep will suffer. Poor housekeeping can have a big impact on repeat business, in my opinion. If Harrah's cuts its expenditure to half or less, it's got to be noticeable in the casinos, restaurants, public areas and rooms. It may be tough to recover from that when things get better. If LVS follows suit at its more upscale Venetian and Palazzo, it could affect convention business.

"Slot machines. Loveman expects all competitors other than new properties to slow down slot machine purchases, saying he gets few player complaints about slots, and he doesn't "feel particularly vulnerable" reducing slot acquisitions."

Loveman is probably right that competitors are slowing down slot purchases, but slot players will gravitate to casinos which have new games.

Am I too pessimistic?

Here's an article on Harrah's:

November 8, 2008 12:01 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Lisa and I are going to Las Vegas in December, staying at Mirage, never stayed there. Can anyone tell me easiest ways to drive in & out, what's good, general advice?

November 8, 2008 1:23 PM Posted by detroit1051

Jeff, my comments are more than two years old, so others may have better information.
Unless you want to drive down the Strip to The Mirage, I find it easier to go north on I-15 and then east on Spring Mountain Road. Turn right, south, at the traffic light which will take you into the TI/Mirage complex. I prefer self-parking, but there is a Valet entrance at the rear of the property next to the parking garage. It takes longer to drive to the roof of the garage, but I like it because you get good views of Venetian/Palazzo, Trump, etc. There are elevators to take you down to the rear entrance of Mirage by Jet.
As far as restaurants, I liked the old Kokomo's better than the new one. Since it's open to the hotel lobby bar, it's noisier and smoky near the front. It's better to be in the back toward the tropical garden.
My favorite restaurant is Fin. It's quiet and a great space for Chinese food. Japonais opened the last time I was there, and it was fun. There's a large bar in the front and dining in the back. However, nothing's inexpensive any more at MGM properties. I haven't been to Onda since it was redone, but when The Mirage first opened, and for years after that, it was one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
Carnegie Deli was good, but too much food if you don't share. The tigers were still there in 2006, so I haven't been to BLT. California Pizza Kitchen is great, and it's interesting to be able to see the casino and sports book from there. Now that all the work has been done at Mirage, it will be great to get your opinion.
Be prepared to walk to the hotel tower. You've got to walk through the entire casino to the hotel elevators which can be an ordeal. Regardless of whether you park in the garage or the main Valet, you'll still enter near Registration.

November 9, 2008 6:10 PM Posted by Brian Fey

What is the status of Tableau? Its still on the Wynn website. Has it closed, or changed over yet? Will it close for remodel before the change over, or just simply change the menu, name and chef? I am really hoping I can get my Kobe Beef Braised Ribs just one last time, when I'm there next month.

November 10, 2008 2:26 PM Posted by Brian Fey

The LVS CC was supposed to start almost 30 Min ago, and its yet to start. Unreal. This company might be on the verge of bankrupcy, and they pull shit like this, boy does that make their investors feel great about the future of this company. Have they already laid off the entire finance department, and sent them packing? OMG!!! Wynn would fire someone, if this happenend!

November 10, 2008 2:42 PM Posted by Brian Fey

This is just starting, and I think its going to blow our mind.

November 10, 2008 4:01 PM Posted by detroit1051

I'm not surprised LVS suspended construction on the St. Regis condos.

November 10, 2008 6:54 PM Posted by mike_ch

Brian: I'll look and check on Tableau next time I'm there, which could be anytime from tomorrow to a couple weeks. I was there this week to check out a new corridor and I forgot to see what the store space at TI turned into as well.

I've got a column ready in the next few days. NYNY is looking better than it did. Meanwhile, Bellagio has another ugly obvious sign of decline that needs fixing.

November 10, 2008 7:36 PM Posted by Mike P.


we ate at Tableau back in October for the first time in a year. I was a little surprised to see the old staff back, and almost as surprised they remembered us and were happy to see us.

Don't take my word for this, but I think they said Tableau would be closing in a few weeks from them, and they would be rejoining LoRusso at his place in Encore. I believe also the Tableau space was going to get remodeled before reopening. My memory about both of those could be faulty though.

November 11, 2008 12:26 AM Posted by Mike E

Even more stars for Wynn:

November 11, 2008 4:43 AM Posted by detroit1051

Tableau is a spectacular space, especially during daylight hours. It's great to have breakfast or lunch with the sun streaming in on the entire room. It will be interesting to see how Wynn changes the space. Since I'm set in my ways, I think it's almost perfect the way it is. I'm glad to hear Mike P report the staff will go to Encore. I met many of them at Bellagio's Aqua (Michael Mina) before most moved to Wynn. I know they had some frustration with low business levels, primarily caused by being hidden away in the Tower Suites. They've got to be excited about the new opportunity at Encore. I hope they keep the French Toast on the menu!

November 11, 2008 12:00 PM Posted by detroit1051

Thanks to David McKee's Stiffs & Georges, I read an interesting perspective on Las Vegas in the LA Times:
"Vegas lacks a Plan B that posits an area without ever-increasing growth. We need more people always coming to exist. Things don't have to drop for Vegas to feel pain. Here is why: New tourists are needed to fill all the new resorts opening -- M, Aliante Station, Encore, City Center (with six towers), Fontainebleau and even the new tower at Caesars. Meanwhile, near the Strip are the recently opened Palms Place and Trump. I am leaving out MGM's Signature and others. But the point is clear: Even if the number of tourists simply doesn't rise, everyone in Vegas knows bad times are ahead."

November 12, 2008 10:23 PM Posted by Mark D

Went to Aliante Station opening last night. Lots of orange. There are really small bars scattered throughout the place in odd but convenient places. The ground-level exterior around the front is pretty bland. It was over forty miles round trip from my place. Who's gonna go out there?

November 14, 2008 9:22 AM Posted by DavidF

2009 AAA 5 diamond Ratings announced today :-

No Change on the Hotels, only change is Dining is the addition of Guy Savoy at Cesar’s , which I wanted to try last July, but they close for one month in the Summer (how European!)

Surprised that Palazzo did not make the list, considering that the Venetian managed to keep its rating.

Having stayed at Sheldy’s Now, I am not impressed. I know this is old territory, but from the Check in Procedure which reminded me of the Cash Registers at Frys, to the in-room A/V Systems that could have been Shopped from Wal-Mart (I am NOT exaggerating) to the staff that sounded like they were reading from a script, its like they do the bare minimum to retain their rating.

November 19, 2008 5:42 PM Posted by detroit1051

MGM obviously painted a positive picture with this presentation at G2E, but it is very interesting:

November 23, 2008 2:47 AM Posted by Mike E

"Theo" to be renamed "Sinatra", "Switch" makes sense now, and the commercial will be launched today--more juicy details on Encore courtesy of Norm:

November 23, 2008 5:49 AM Posted by detroit1051

"It won't be a museum. It will be the most stunning restaurant in the country," promised Wynn."
Too bad Steve is such a modest, understated kind of guy.

Maybe I'll have to see Switch, but it sounds like a gimmick to me.

November 23, 2008 7:45 AM Posted by mike_ch

Switch sounds like an Indiana Jones set transformed into a restaurant.

Are the walls going to come out of the floor, the ceiling, or the four base walls? What happens when someone tries to beat the closing wall to where they're going? You know it's going to happen, people try and bum rush departing subways, so they're going to try that.

November 23, 2008 9:29 AM Posted by Hunter

I have to pick one or two places to eat at on this first trip, since it's a short one.

'Sinatra' sounds interesting and I love Italian food. Not sure about a potential second choice. We'll see.

Hopefully the new commercial means the launch of the proper Web site.