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Best of Chris Sieroty

Gaming Guru

Chris Sieroty
 

Palms displays $50 million in upgrades

8 April 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Joseph Magliarditi is confident the $50 million invested in upgrades to The Palms Casino Resort is money well-spent.

After more than a decade of successfully luring thousands of 20- and 30-somethings and locals to the off-Strip property with its popular Ditch Friday parties and The Real World suite, the Palms needed to change its look.

So, the hotel-casino spent millions of dollars in just more than eight months, renovating 428 rooms in its original Palms Tower, renamed the Ivory Tower, and demolishing old bars, restaurants and clubs and replacing them with new experiences.

“You’ve got a short time to make an impact on the customer,” said Magliarditi, president of the Palms. “We are always re-creating things. We think what we have done to the Palms will have the most impact.”

Among the projects recently completed is a new entrance and Social, a new bar in the middle of the casino that took over the former Center Bar.

Magliarditi said the two projects allowed the Palms to redesign its entire casino floor, adding more than 250 slot machines. Social features plush booths, intimate tables and open sightlines of the action in the casino.

“We’ve really opened it up, which has done well for the rest of the property,” Magliarditi said. “This feels like a different space.”

Social’s signature cocktail is the Social Misfit, a mix of Bulliet Rye, Disaronno, White Peach Nagomi and lemon juice served in a 5-ounce branded flask. The drink and memento are priced at $20.

Magliariditi, a Las Vegas-based gaming industry veteran, showed off his remodeled casino resort to the Review-Journal on Wednesday. His first stop was Scarlet, an intimate space with only four bar stools and a menu of infused liquors.

“There is nothing on the Strip like this,” he said. “I like this space because it’s small and private. We could have filled it in with 20 seats, but we kept it small and simple.”

Currently, the bar is offering a menu of infused vodkas and specialty drinks.

Magliarditi said in the near future the Palms will remodel ghostbar and The Real World suite, which is one of several multimillion-dollar Fantasy Suites that sit high atop the Palms Fantasy Tower.

The 3,000-square-foot suite was built for MTV, which in 2002 filmed a season of “The Real World” in Las Vegas. The suite has three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, a pool table, an aquarium, a lounge, study area and communal showers.

“We are not going to change The Real World suite,” Magliarditi said. “It has been beat up, and while people still want to stay there, it’s time to clean it up and make it look nice again.”

The suite’s price per night prices ranges from $7,000 to $15,000.

Magliarditi said when the Palms opened in 2001 its customer base was in its mid-20s; now the average customers ranges in age from 30 to 50 years old. He said the upgrades to the resort reflect that change.

“We need to offer unique things to drive bodies to our resort,” Magliarditi said. “We are not in Summerlin or the Strip; we need a unique concept that imports bodies to the property.”

He described the Palms as a “hybrid,” catering to locals and out-of-town customers.

Since May, the resort is on track to open seven new restaurants from casual takeout to modestly priced Asian-themed cuisine by the end of the year.

The Palms began with updating its Bistro Buffet, while adding Fortunes, Earl of Sandwich and Chocolat Bistro.

This year it opened Heraea, a sports lounge and restaurant created by The One Group. Heraea offers two levels of dining area, a Cantor sports book, access to the pool and a private skybox that overlooks the restaurant and its seven television sets over the bar.

“It’s like you’re on the 50-yard line watching a game in the skybox,” Magliarditi said.

Chronic Taco is scheduled to open on May 5 in The Eatery food court, and in August, The One Group will open XISHI, a restaurant with pan-Asian cuisine in a lounge setting.

The former Playboy Lounge located atop the Fantasy Tower has been replaced with The View, a bar and lounge with dramatic views of Las Vegas and billiards, pingpong and shuffleboard.

Magliarditi admitted he didn’t like the idea of The View when The Nine Group showed off the plans, but “it came out great, and they proved me wrong.”