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Howard Stutz

Caesars' New Road Show

6 April 2005

No one will confuse the Forum Shops at Caesars with the Valley Auto Mall, but luxury car shoppers will soon have plenty of opportunity to kick some tires at the Strip shopping plaza.

Caesars Palace will open an exotic and specialty car dealership Friday, about 20 days ahead of the neighboring Wynn Las Vegas, which will unveil a Ferrari and Maserati dealership during its grand opening April 28.Advertisement

Exotic Cars at Caesars Place will take up more than 34,000 square feet inside the Forum Shops using space that formerly housed the Race for Atlantis motion simulator ride. Accessible from the casino entrance to the mall, the luxury car dealership will be adjacent to the plaza's Atlantis moving statue show rotunda.

On any given day, customers will be able to view up to 50 different exotic cars in a two-tiered showroom -- priced from $50,000 to more than $1 million for unique, one-of-a-kind vehicles.

Autos will include custom offerings from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Panoz, Mercedes and Porsche. Exotic Cars at Caesars Palace will sell both new and used vehicles.

"Of course, our preowned cars have less than 1,000 miles on them," said Richard Weisman, president of Exotic Cars. He has operated similar dealerships in Florida.

The dealership will also offer up to 20 different custom motorcycles, such as Von Dutch Originals, ranging in price from $40,000 to $150,000.

"Las Vegas is a market that has been under-served by exotic car dealers, and this is something I recognized five years ago," Weisman said.

Caesars Palace owns several locations inside the Forum Shops and Weisman originally approached management about placing an exotic auto dealership somewhere in the casino.

Caesars Palace President Mark Juliano said the resort would reap revenue by getting a percentage of each sale and through a lease agreement with the dealership.

"Because of its size, (the Forum Shops location) was a difficult space for us to do something with," Juliano said. "An exotic auto dealership with these unique cars is the perfect attraction for our customers. They like expensive things like that."

Juliano said Caesars will place some of the dealership's available vehicles on slot machine carousels, which helps promote the dealership and also allows an opportunity to win a $100,000-plus vehicle by lining up special jackpot symbols.

The casino is now offering a 2005, $125,000 Mercedes SL 55 as a jackpot prize through its custom slot machines.

Weisman said the location will serve a dual role as attraction and dealership.

Car enthusiasts will able to browse the showroom to view the automobiles and motorcycles and take photos. Interactive touchscreen monitors, a remote control racetrack and video walls will also be available to entertain customers.

About 8,000 square feet of the dealership is being set aside as a retail emporium, offering more than 3,000 auto and motorcycle-related items, such as jewelry, apparel, hats and accessories.

One thing that won't be offered are vehicle test drives.

"These are not the type of vehicles that are test driven," Weisman said. "Exotic cars are an attraction. People will want to come in, look at the cars, and take their pictures with them for their friends back home."

While he expects a fair amount of walk-in customers because of the Forum Shops site -- entry to the dealership is free -- true exotic car buyers will flock to the location because of certain autos that might become available.

Weisman also hopes to build a relationship with representatives at the Maserati and Ferrari dealership at Wynn Las Vegas. A spokeswoman for Wynn Las Vegas said its dealership will also have service bays for cars and will lease vehicles to customers that are staying at the resort.

"We'll probably have a friendly rivalry with them," Weisman said.