Las Vegas grows in stages. Although, the resort market never stops,
it seems to swing from one stage to the next.
For a while, it seems everyone holds their breath, waiting for the
latest blockbuster resort to open its doors. Next comes a wave of
expansion and upgrading. Since the highly anticipated Wynn Las
Vegas opened in April, Las Vegas is now in expansion mode. The Grandeur of Rome
On Aug. 12, Caesars Palace opened the new Augustus Tower. The decor
in the 949-room tower puts a modern twist on Caesars’ Roman theme.
A massive new lobby is bedecked with mosaics, tapestries and lots
of marble and inlaid wood.
“This is the lobby we’ve been waiting 32 years for,” said long-
time Caesars spokeswoman Debbie Munch.
The new tower features three wedding chapels and two new
restaurants. Soon to come will be a new 35,000-square-foot spa.
The lobby has a VIP reception lounge. Down the hall is a separate
lobby and lounge for high-roller casino guests. It has its own
entrance and porte cochere.
A new restaurant in the tower will be headed by and named for Guy
Savoy, an acclaimed Michelin three-star chef whose Paris restaurant
is ranked among the finest in the world.
Regular rooms have nine-foot ceilings and are 650 square feet,
making them some of the largest in Las Vegas. Each room has an
extra large bath with a spa tub, televisions and phones by the
The Augustus Tower is the finishing touch on an expansion and
renovation project that has been ongoing for seven years, according
to Munch. The project has included an expansion of the Forum Shops,
the addition of the Roman Plaza outdoor facility, the opening of
the Colosseum where singer Celine Dion performs, expanded meeting
and convention space and the renovation of more than 600 rooms plus
several new restaurants.
Standard rooms in Augustus Tower start at $220 per night. 800-731-7110
www.caesars.comA Boutique Look
MGM’s project can’t really be called an expansion because it
involves the revamping of an existing section of the MGM Grand but,
in a way, it can because the results of the remodel are so dynamic,
clients may feel they are in a new hotel.
People may recall that when the MGM Grand was built in 1993, it
replaced the old Marina Hotel. The majority of the existing
building was torn down except for one tower. That newer facility
was left intact and the MGM Grand was built around it. The existing
rooms were completely remodeled but they are smaller than the rest
of the room inventory.
A recent facelift has taken that part of the hotel and created a
boutique-type hotel within the MGM. The new look has a completely
different feel and a highly creative use of space.
Design firm Yabu Pushelberg took some unusual approaches to hotel
room design with dynamic results. The bathroom area has been opened
up with celadon frosted glass. A sink, countertop and shelving are
in an open area that gives the illusion of a large bath. A small
flat-screen TV is built into the mirror to save space.
Glass and mirrors in the bedroom add to the illusion of more space
and the king bed has been moved to the outside wall under the
window opening up the floor space. The result is a small room that
The area has now been dubbed the West Wing because of its location
on the west side of the hotel. It does not have a separate check-in
but does have a separate elevator located next to the West Wing
Lounge, a quiet bar done in the same modern style. The lobby area
also includes the Boutique West Wing, a gift and sundry store.
West Wing rooms are part of the regular room inventory but agents
may request them for clients. If a bathtub is required, clients
might want to request other accommodations.
Room rates at the MGM Grand vary but range from $109 to $499. 800-929-1111, 702-891-7777
Still to Come
The Las Vegas Sands has begun construction on a 3,050-room hotel
right next to the existing Venetian Resort and Casino. The Palazzo
Casino Resort is scheduled to open in mid 2007.
Before Wynn Las Vegas opened to the public in April, ground was
broken on a half-billion-dollar expansion to the resort. The new
tower will add 1,300 suites to the hotel.
Just off the Strip, the Palms Resort is building a $600 million
expansion that will add 347 rooms and almost 600 condo units to the
hotel inventory when owners aren’t using them.
A similar project combining hotels and condo units has been
announced at the Hard Rock Hotel. The $1 billion project is set for
completion in August 2007.
With the opening of Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas has approximately
134,000 hotel and motel rooms, a 46 percent increase since 1995,
according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. While
the existing properties take time to regroup, the next explosion is
around the corner.