Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Top 10 facts about Caesars Palace in Las Vegas19 September 2016
Caesars Palace is a monolith, a longstanding tradition of the Las Vegas Strip and one of its best-known landmarks.
The casino is celebrating its 50th anniversary with all the pomp and circumstance you'd expect, with appearances from multiple stars and some heartwarming statements by four "year one" employees. A pool party, a five-tier cake and more than 10 minutes of spectacular fireworks rounded out the experience.
Caesars Palace has made a name for itself over the years by hosting musicians, grand prix events and a restaurant that serves the most expensive ice cream sundae in the world. (We'll get to that part soon.)
Let's take a look at some of the most notable, interesting or otherwise strange aspects of this eminent property.
10. Talking shop
It's hard to talk about an extravagant resort-hotel without mentioning its shopping scene. Caesars Palace is home to The Forum, a 636,000-square-foot shopping mall that was built in 1992.
Spiral escalators and replicas of famous fountains will ease you into the rest of the property, which houses high-end boutiques like Chanel, Dior and Versace. After undergoing three expansions since its opening, it has become the most valuable real estate in Las Vegas.
9. Places to stay, sights to see
The hotel's AAA Four Diamond status leaves no room for doubt about the kind of experience you'll be getting. Choose from the Julius Tower, the Palace Tower, the Forum Tower, the Nobu Tower, the Laurel Collection Tower or the Octavius Tower. They're all equally luxurious; the fun part is trying to choose just one.
This place is big on water displays: As many as 18 water fountains dot the property, contributing to the over 240 million gallons of water used every year while providing some impressive visuals. Pools are modeled after Roman baths, with some modern tweaks: cabanas and chaise lounges in particular.
And it's impossible to neglect the four-ton Brahma shrine located near the entrance. Visitors, if they choose, can light incense at the shrine before continuing on to the Serendipity 3, whose infamous features are highlighted further down the list.
8. Pull some stunts
The famous stunt performer Evil Knievel decided to jump the property's fountains in 1967. Setting it up took a bit of finagling: After creating a fake corporation and three fake lawyers and contacting the then-CEO of the casino, Jay Sarno, Knievel was permitted to make the jump on 31 December.
Before the fateful event, Knievel bet $100 on the blackjack table, lost it, and had a shot at the bar. And when the time finally came, he proceeded to almost completely beef the landing, hitting the safety ramp and destroying his pelvis and femur, fracturing his hip and giving himself quite the concussion.
This jump was the longest that Knievel had attempted.
But all was not lost: His son, Robbie Knievel, successfully made the same jump in 1989.
7. The Frank Sinatra effect
Frank Sinatra helped to solidify Caesars Palace place on the list of Las Vegas must-visits.
He first began performing there in 1968, after a man by the name of Howard Hughes purchased the Sands and all hell broke loose regarding Sinatra's casino credit. Hughes cut him off, Sinatra supposedly rammed a golf cart through the casino's front windows, and then he moved on the Caesars Palace.
The new relationship was a good one; Sinatra was named Vice President of Entertainment in 1981.
6. Fast cars, faster lifespan
The Caesars Palace Grand Prix, much like the history of humanity when compared to the history of the universe, appeared as a brief blip on the radar.
It lasted from 1981 to 1984 and was part of the Formula One World Championship before it became part of the Championship Auto Racing Teams series.
Following a final 1984 race where nothing of note happened, the location of the circuit was populated with cooler and more exciting things, like The Forum and The Mirage. Sorry, racing fans – the people demand Versace.
5. Boxers' heaven
The New Yorker named Caesars Palace "Home of Champions" because the property's outdoor arena hosted some of the sport's most famous boxing celebrities, such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Oscar De La Hoya.
Today, a marble statue of heavyweight Joe Louis stands outside of Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, reminding us all of the superstars who threw some punches here.
4. Roman Empire throwbacks
The Roman Colosseum is known as a place where gladiators would gather to demonstrate their strength, dramas could be performed and executions could be carried out.
Fortunately, the Caesars Palace version of this mighty landmark has little to do with lopping heads off. You won't find any fighting there, only the sweet sounds of talent. Over the years, the venue has featured the likes of Elton John, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey and Cher during their various residency shows.
This venue was built specifically for Celine Dion's show, A New Day, in 2003. It cost over $100 million and seats over 4,000 people. (Celine even helped out with some of the construction.)
We think the addition of a few lions couldn't hurt, though.
3. Big money, big problems
Back in 2009, there was some mayhem regarding a man who lost almost $127 million.
Terry Watanabe claimed to have gambled at Caesars for about six months in 2007, losing a pretty penny on slot machines and roulette in the process. He managed to rack up some gambling debts to the tune of $9 million, then went on to file a civil suit against Harrah's, the owners of Caesars Palace at the time, for fraud.
Watanabe reported that the casino had hatched a plan to keep him gambling by way of keeping him drunk. It's a good demonstration of the relationship casinos tend to have with clients known as "whales," those who spend big, lose big and don’t seem to mind the constant flow of alcohol and other forms of special treatment.
What Watanabe lost was most of his fortune. Caesars Palace and the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino obtained about 5% of their gambling revenue that year from the money he lost.
The two parties reached a settlement in 2010.
2. Not your average dessert
This one's our personal favorite.
The Serendipity 3 is home to one of the most ridiculous assemblages of food imaginable, known only as the Golden Opulence Sundae.
Usually one makes a statement with a bold accessory, a new haircut, or through a series of wars waged against the House of Valois. This restaurant, a branch of the New York eatery of the same name, decided to follow a decidedly sweeter route: the $1,000 sundae.
"A thousand dollars? What's in it?" we asked. "Gold?"
Turns out, that's exactly what's in it. This treat is the record holder for most expensive sundae in the world and, apparently, the restaurant sells at least one a month. Ingredients have to be flown in from different parts of the world, so make sure to give them 48 hours' notice. This is not something you order on a whim.
In its crystal goblet you'll find Tahitian vanilla ice cream, 23k edible gold leaf, one of the world's most expensive chocolates-turned-syrup, incredibly rare Chuao chocolate chunks, gold-covered almonds, chocolate truffles, dessert caviar and more.
As for the taste? No one's reported on that, leading us to wonder if anyone really knows.
You and four friends could theoretically pool a portion of the money, reducing a $1,000 ice cream sundae to a $200 ice cream sundae. That's practically a bargain.
1. Everyone's favorite haunt
We at Casino City don't believe in ghosts, but there have been rumblings from time to time of unexplained happenings in the halls of quite a few Las Vegas establishments. Caesars Palace is no exception.
Reportedly, a cocktail waitress found that faucets in a certain bathroom would stop pouring water when a hand was put under them, which is exactly the opposite of what faucets are supposed to do. Faucets also had a tendency to go off despite no one being near them.
Conveniently, this behavior only happened when she was in the bathroom alone.
We're not super sure if this is a case of bad installation, glitchy tech, or a ghost that has a vendetta against cleanliness and reasonable water use.
Word has also floated around regarding a haunted craps table that paid out profit to gamblers for over 13 months. That means the casino was losing money. This spooked them so much that they took the table out back and burned it. The ghost has probably moved on to the slot department.