Caesars Palace - a Las Vegas classic and perhaps the best known gaming brand in the world.
Inside, constant expansion has made the place a confusing labyrinth but from the outside, it's a lot of fun to look at.
Categories: Caesars/Harrah's, Casino Design, Casino Design Photo of the Week
Caesars has always fascinated me, but the interior is a labyrinth as Hunter said. I always park on the roof of the parking structure (#1 on the linked map). Then, I continue to get lost as I meander through the casino(s). I remember when the land from the Strip to the main entrance was used for surface parking other than the fountains going up the middle. Remember the original Roman Tower with its concrete or cinder block filigree exterior?
PBS must have had a conference at Caesars because this property map is from them:
The newer areas are pretty nice, but they really need to find a way to rennovate the older areas. Specifically, they need to significantly expand the main gaming pit and widen the Appian way. Also, the conveyor entrance on the north strip side needs some attention.
From a design standpoint I wish the various owners had the forethought to have some continuity. I think when Sarno sold to Perlman that started the hodge podge movement that Caesars has become today. He added the Centurion tower which just looked like a basic square block next to the curved rome colosseum-like Roman Tower and it just got worse from there. I wish they had a Disney like master plan and stuck to it. I have great respect for Perlman as he took the entertainment and sporting event to a whole new level for Caesars and Vegas, but from an expansion viewpoint he got the ball rolling in the wrong direction with that out of place tower. Another design element part of me misses the aqua neon that lit up every floor exterior wise, it was something that was created in 1966 and designers are still trying to use that same concept with LED technology, but still have yet to make it iconic like Caesars. Granted the old ornate cement blocks in front of room windows were more bashed than loved. Materials used in the evolving design also got away from using real marble vs. styrofoam and plastics cheapened the resort as well. Gone was using the same marble quarry as Michelangelo to now making a trip to Home Depot and buying tiles off the shelf. Another cool design element I thought was how they lit the Omnimax theatre from the outside with those mixture of geometric patterns. It seemed out of Tokyo and the closest thing I've ever seen to it today was at the Olympics in China with their "water cube" swimming complex.
The hotel overall still holds a special place in my heart, even in its current state. In its prime I can easily make the argument it was the best hotel in the world, not anymore obviously. Back in the day, they were always ahead of their time, the overall theming was ahead of its time, the Forum Shops was a concept ahead of its time, the Omnimax Theatre was ahead of its time, the concept of Cleopatras Barge was ahead of its time. The porte cochere used to have a plaque on the wall for being the biggest cantilever structure of its type in the world. They held on their premises Davis Cup matches, Formula 1 races, NHL games outdoors, and limitless big time boxing events. Started the celebrity chef trend with Wolfgang Puck. First to take the use of water outside the hotel as a key design element. They used legends like heavy weight champ Joe Louis to be their hotel greeter, they hired Bjorn Borg I believe to be their tennis director in his prime, they hired actor/racer Paul Newman to be their F1 race director, Frank Sinatra was their entertainment director. They always seemed to be ahead of the curve, not by just a few years, but by decades. Visionaries like Sarno, Perlman and Henry Gluck put it on the map and kept it on the map. Then came the series of poor ownership and management who didn't understand the true history of this place. Unfortunately, I think Caesars management of recent years made the place more of a follower now than leader. Instead of searching for that ahead of the curve idea, they're happy to rely on past greatness
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