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For the Horde.
846 Posts
Caesar's Palace

Construction begins in 1962, and officially opens in 1966 with 700 rooms in the 14-story Roman Tower.

1970 - The Centurion Tower is completed and opens.

1974 - An extension of the original Roman Tower is completed.

1979 - Fantasy (later renamed Forum) Tower is completed.

1992 - The Forum Shops (indoor mall) opens.

1997 - Palace Tower is completed.

2004 - Augustus Tower is completed, framing the pool. The Forum Shops are expanded.

2009 - Octavius Tower is completed, but doesn't officially open until January 2012 due to the economy.

2012 - The Centurion Tower, originally built in 1970, is completely gutted and renovated, and becomes the boutique Nobu Hotel.

For the Horde.
846 Posts
Desert Inn/Wynn/Encore

1950 - The Desert Inn officially opens with 225 rooms.

1952 - Golf course opened

1963 - St. Andrews tower completed.

1978 - Augusta Tower is completed.

1997 - Entire resort is reclad and undergoes a massive renovation, from a garish glass facade to a more subdued Italian-style.

2000 - Steve Wynn buys the Desert Inn for $270 million.

2001 - The resort closes in August. The Augusta Tower is demolished on October 18.

2002 - Construction on Wynn Las Vegas commences.

2004 - The Palms and St. Andrews towers are demolished.

2005 - The last remnant of the Desert Inn, a parking garage constructed in 1997, is demolished. On April 28, the Wynn officially opens.

2008 - Encore Las Vegas is completed and opens in December.

9,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
From 1989 until sometime in the 2000s, there was a period named the "Las Vegas Strip Renaissance", in which some of the the older and smaller hotels and casinos made way for the larger mega resorts.

The Mirage - 1989
Excalibur - 1990
Luxor - 1993 *
Treasure Island - 1993
MGM Grand - 1993 *
Stratosphere - 1996 *
Monte Carlo - 1996
New York New York - 1997
Bellagio - 1998 *
Mandalay Bay - 1999 *
Venetian - 1999 *
Paris - 1999
Aladdin - 2000 (since renamed Planet Hollywood)
Wynn - 2005

* - denotes that it has had an expansion. In the case of Stratosphere, part of its hotel tower was left unfinished until 2000.

Other older hotels have blossomed into megaresorts, such as Caesars Palace, Circus Circus, and Flamingo.

15 Posts
When was the first tower in the Imperial Palace built?
First built in 1959 when it was called the Flamingo Capri.
In 1979 it was Renamed Imperial Palace.
In 1988 the Main tower was added for a total of 2,640 rooms.
You're getting this timeline all wrong.
In 1959, the Flamingo Capri opened with 180 rooms
there was reported to be an expansion in 1974 which added the east and north buildings and the Shangri-La Pool. I don't know exactly what this looks like, nor do I remember this expansion.
In 1979, it was renamed the Impertal Palace. I don't know what the hotel looked like at the time of the renaming, but I kow that construction may have started on the 19-story 850-room tower and 7-floor parking garage which would be completed by January 1981. The Impertal Theatre showroom was completed in 1980. The original Flamingo Capri rooms were then demolished. A 650-room tower was completed in August 1982. Then in 1986, a third 19-floor tower with 600 rooms was added to the complex. 15,000 square feet was added to the casino, and the meeting & convention space was also expanded. Finally, a 4th 19-story tower containing 547 rooms was constructed.
I'm going to revise this with photos taken at the time. The only part I'm not clear on is which of the 1980s towers came up and when.

1959: Flamingo Capri - Low-rise motel opens next to Flamingo Hotel.
Photo: Flamingo Capri with a cool color scheme in the 60s
1971: Ralph Engelstad buys the place; gaming is added somewhere along the way and a couple additional motel wings are moved around.
1977: First tower, the Imperial Palace Tower.
Photo: Imperial Palace tower. No idea of it's open.
1979: Engelstad builds a larger casino, reopens the hotel as Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino
1980s: Imperial Palace additional towers Sources say there's 5-6 towers, but if you look at the place it's really a complex with several wings. I haven't been able to find which tower/pieces were made in which years. The first expansion is c. '81-82, and by the late 80s, the hotel has about 2600 rooms, the most it's had since. There was a showroom, parking garage and casino expansion also during this era.
Photo: Imperial Palace, 1982. At this point the tower looks to be a "T" shape, the first section hidden in the angle of the photo. By the late 80s, it's hard to see the layout of the hotel because the two closely neighboring hotels (Holiday/Harrah's and Flamingo) have grown larger.
1989-90: Pagoda Tower, the last tower, with non-hotel space. It's at the front of the property right along Las Vegas Blvd.
Photo: Pagoda Tower under construction
Photo: the resort in 1995 dwarfed by Harrah's and Flamingo
2002: Engelstad dies
2005: Harrah's purchase
2012: renamed The Quad, under massive renovation for two years, then renamed again
2014: The Linq
Photo: The Linq balconies painted in a similar way as Flamingo Capri

15 Posts
Now here's an expansion history of the Flamingo Las Vegas.

In 1946, it opened with 250 rooms
In 1953, a 125-ft high cylindrical sign was added as part of a remodeling project.
!n 1967-68, the sign was demolished, a porte cochere was added and the first 28-story tower with 520-rooms was constructed
In 1975, a second 28-story tower containing 500 rooms was added
In 1977, a third wing containing 500-rooms was built
In 1982, a 4th tower with 600 rooms was added
In 1990 a 5th tower with 825 rooms was added
The original lowrise rooms were demolished in 1993
In 1995, the sixth and last tower with 700 rooms was added
In 1999, it was renamed Flamingo Las Vegas
1975 is not correct. First tower (in front of the hotel) construction in 1977. By 1982 that tower had been expanded (maybe that's "second" tower) and another tower had come up on the Flamingo Road side of the property. Not sure which came first. The second tower was constructed in 1982. Not too clear, but you can see it here:
Photo from 82

15 Posts
Riviera Hotel expansion history:

1955-The hotel opened with 291 rooms in a 9-story tower
1965-The hotel tower had a 200-room extension
1967-A three-story 200-room addition was built. It would later be demolished in 1976 and 1986 for the construction of the San remo and Monaco Towers.
1968-Added 12-story, 220-room wing
1972-4 championship tennis courts added. These were removed in 1986
1975-361-room 17-story Monte Carlo Tower added
1977-200-room 6-story San Remo Tower added
1988-Monaco Tower (24 floors, 940 rooms) added
A couple corrections:

1955: hotel opened with 9-story tower
"L" shaped tower shown here

c. 1960: Mediterranean Tower South, Pt.1
the new tower is an expansion of the hotel, making it a "T" shape

1966: Mediterranean Tower South, Pt.2
continuing the first expansion, plus more floors

1975-361-room 17-story Monte Carlo Tower added
Another expansion of the original hotel, shown here under construction

1977: San Remo tower. It was either a replacement of the low-level motels seen on the right of the last photo from 1975, or an expansion of those rooms. Either way, San Remo tower is separate from the original tower structure, and the smallest area of hotel.

1988-Monaco Tower (24 floors, 940 rooms)
also separate from the original hotel structure, a T-shape hotel tower on the southeast corner of the property

I do not know when the marquee and stripfront features were built.
1968: the sign
1990: The strip-front tower was covered in mirrored glass, and a new casino was built over the former parking lot, bringing the casino to the street. The 1968 sign was moved to the opposite end of the property, on Paradise Rd. This is the how the Riviera stayed looking until it closed in 2015.

15 Posts
Another hotel that has gone through some expansions is the Tropicana Hotel and casino.

In 1957, it opened with 300 rooms in two 3-story towers
1959, a 150-room wing was added
It seems that the original 1957 wing, and 1959 addition at the Tropicana are now the oldest rooms on the strip, and definitely the oldest at a major hotel.

Also circa 1959: Las Vegas Strip Travelodge, 2830 S Las Vegas Blvd.

9,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Did you know that the Caesars Palace used to have low-rise motel-style rooms during its early years, like most Vegas Strip resorts?

I think those motel rooms would have accounted for over half of the 680 rooms the Caesars Palace originally opened with. Those lowrise rooms were probably demolished at some point in the 1980s after the Forum Tower was built.

Working the OT
736 Posts
Anyone know if that retail plan that was proposed way back about 5 years ago for Tropicanana is still on the plans or did that get completely shelved and thrown out with the new ownership.
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