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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Caesar's Tower Already Sold Out

2 September 2005

LAS VEGAS -- Guests didn't want to wait until Caesars Palace's corporate leaders and entertainer C line Dion cut the ribbon tonight to officially open the Strip hotel's new $289 million, 949-room Augustus tower.

The building is already sold out.

Harrah's Entertainment, which acquired Caesars Palace as part of its $9 billion buyout of Caesars Entertainment in June, held a soft opening of the tower during August. The demand for the newly designed rooms, which average from $200 to $400 a night, has been what hotel officials had hoped.

"The tower was long overdue and it helps us bring more people into the property," said new Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner, who was appointed to his position in early August. "The tower was designed for a more affluent hotel guest that enjoys what Las Vegas offers and is willing to pay top dollar for a stylish hotel room and spend money on world class dining."

Selesner said that Caesars Palace will benefit from the Harrah's marketing database, which will ensure the rooms in the Augustus tower are also filled with free-spending gamblers.

The tower's rooms start at 650 square feet, 50 percent larger than comparable hotel accommodations in other cities, and increase in size to 2,470 square feet for one of 23 three-bedroom suites. The suites include various amenities, such as in-room saunas, infinity tubs, steam showers and flat-screen televisions.

Room interiors in the Augustus tower were designed by Wilson & Associates, which designed luxury hotels such as the Cipriani in Venice, Italy and the George V in Paris.

The new tower, Selesner said, completes the renovation started five years ago by Caesars Entertainment. In all, Caesars spent $376 million on the renovation, which also includes a $76 million expansion of the property's convention facilities, and $11 million in other areas.

A new grand lobby entrance hotel reception area is part of the tower, as are two new restaurants, Augustus Cafe, for 24-hour casual dining; and Guy Savoy, which is operated by its namesake, three-star Michelin Chef Guy Savoy, who is opening his first restaurant outside of Paris.

Caesars Palace added several upscale restaurants, including offerings from celebrity chef's Bradley Ogden and Bobby Flay, and built the 4,100-seat Colosseum for Dion's "A New Day ..." production show, which shares the space with pop superstar Elton John.

"We've added a new dynamic to Caesars Palace," Selesner said. "I've talked with customers and they appreciate the level of design that went into the Augustus tower."

The completion of the tower addition gives Caesars Palace 3,340 rooms and suites. Company officials say Caesars needed the new rooms to better compete with newer Strip hotel-casinos, such as Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio, and The Venetian, for high-end customers.