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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Caesars will rename Imperial Palace "The Quad"

18 September 2012

By Howard Stutz

LAS VEGAS -- So long, Imperial Palace.

Hello, The Quad.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced Monday it would rename the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino as The Quad Resort & Casino. The company had said earlier this year the Strip resort would be rebranded as part of the $550 million Project Linq development.

The name Quad had surfaced in recent months on social media websites, along with 3535, the street address for the Imperial Place. Caesars Entertainment trademarked both names.

On Monday, Caesars officials explained the name Quad is associated as the center of activity, much like the quad on a college campus.

They hope the hotel-casino will convey that social feeling with next year's opening of Linq, a nongaming retail, dining and entertainment development, anchored by the High Roller, a 550-foot-tall observation wheel.

"This property has always been known as a hub of social activity, where anyone can come relax and have a good time," Caesars Entertainment Regional President Rick Mazer said in a statement. "As we update our offerings we want to further enhance that feeling of fun and connectivity. We think the name, The Quad, really embodies those sentiments."

David G. Schwartz, director for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said the name Quad wasn't "very imaginative," but that was "par for the course," based on the recent titles given to recently renamed hotel-casinos, including The D, the downtown hotel-casino formerly known as Fitzgeralds, and LVH Las Vegas, the former Las Vegas Hilton.

LINQ AREA'S KEY DRIVER

Schwartz said it actually doesn't matter what name Caesars gives to the 2,640-room hotel-casino because the success of Linq is the primary focus.

"Linq is what drives the whole area," Schwartz said. "That's what we're going to be watching. Derek Stevens (owner of The D) believes it is what happens when you get to the place that matters. That may be the idea here."

By using Quad, Caesars was able to save the Horseshoe brand name that the company owns for potential use on the Strip.

The Imperial Palace's Asian-South Pacific theme, which includes a blue pagoda-style rooftop, will be stripped away for a "contemporary" look.

A giant "Q" will replace the Imperial Palace logo.

Renovations will be completed in phases through 2013. Changes will be made to the exterior facade, porte cochere, front desk, bell desk, hotel lobby, retail area and dining levels. The casino will also be remodeled in phases and expanded by 15,000 square feet to include the former Imperial Palace entrance.

The Quad will have a new entrance on the north side of the building with access off Koval Road or a tunnel next to Harrah's Las Vegas off the Strip. A pedestrian walkway will be constructed adjacent to Harrah's Carnaval Court through to the south side of The Quad into the Linq.

The hotel rooms are currently not scheduled for renovation.

CONVERSION EXPECTED BY DECEMBER

Caesars said it was working with Las Vegas-based Klai Juba Architects for the exterior and structural renovations, while Friedmutter Group is overseeing the interior design.

Caesars said the official conversion will be completed by December.

Caesars acquired the Imperial Palace from the Ralph Engelstad and Betty Engelstad Trust for $370 million in 2005. The company was originally going to demolish the hotel-casino until the recession halted Caesars' development plans for the east side of the Strip.

Engelstad, who died in 2002, was a North Dakota-born contractor who transformed the Imperial Palace out of the Flamingo Capri, a small Strip motel, in the 1970s and 1980s. Engelstad also built a Imperial Palace hotel-casino in Biloxi, Miss., that is now called the IP Biloxi and is owned by Boyd Gaming Corp.

Caesars' license to use the Imperial Palace name was expiring at the end of the year.