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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Vegas casino begins remodeling most of 3,500 hotel rooms

22 November 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Flamingo Las Vegas has begun remodeling two-thirds of the Strip resort's 3,500 hotel rooms as part of an overall rebranding and renovation of the property, which will become a gateway for the planned $550 million Project Linq development.

The $10 million renovation of 2,307 rooms is expected to be completed by May.

About 500 of the redesigned rooms, being marketed as the FAB rooms, are expected to be available for guests checking into the Flamingo on Jan. 2. The first 100 rooms with the new design, which includes wood furnishings and hardwood floors, were completed Friday.

The Flamingo's room remodel began in 2006 with the upgrade of 1,032 rooms under what Flamingo executives refer to as the GO design.

The current room remodeling project was delayed for a few years. The work resumed with a new design and is part of an overall redevelopment of the property.

In September, the Flamingo rebranded about 15,000 square feet of unused public space into the $10 million Margaritaville casino expansion, which connects the Margaritaville restaurant with the rest of the property. A Carlos'n Charlie's restaurant is expected to open in December.

The casino's high-limit gaming area, the race and sports book and the keno lounge were also remodeled.

"We're redoing pockets of the building in preparation for Project Linq," said Karie Hall, the Flamingo's vice president of hotel operations.

Hall said a few rooms were designed with the FAB look, which includes patterned rugs and other modern interior design touches. The rooms all have "splashes" or "slight touches" of the signature Flamingo pink.

"We had a lot of good feedback from guests," Hall said of the rooms designed by Westar Architects of Las Vegas. "The rooms are actually very masculine in nature. The rooms have more of a residential feel."

The hardwood flooring makes it easier for room cleaning and any redesigns, such as changing rugs or furnishings.

Hall said it takes about 11 days for a room to be renovated.

The Flamingo is adjacent to the Project Linq site, which will include a retail, dining and entertainment district anchored by a 550-foot tall observation wheel. Caesars Entertainment Corp. owns Project Linq along with the Flamingo, one of the company's 10 resorts on or near the Strip. Plans also call for the Imperial Palace to be renovated during the Project Linq development, including giving the hotel-casino a new look, name and theme.

Hall and Flamingo Las Vegas President Rick Mazer said the hotel's redevelopment elicits the nostalgia reminiscent of vintage Las Vegas. The company said room prices start at $85 a night.

"Flamingo has established itself as a one of the Strip's original resorts," Mazer said. "The upgraded rooms will build upon the elements that Flamingo is most known for while bringing a completely new energy to the property for an unforgettable Vegas experience."

The room renovation is expected to be done in May and will complete an upgrade of all of the Flamingo's standard guest rooms.

Hall said the Flamingo's remaining suites would be upgraded over the next few years