Is Caesars’ planned observation wheel just a fancy Ferris wheel?
Wed, Aug 10, 2011 (4 p.m.)
A rendering of The Linq.
Caesars Entertainment is about to spend $500 million on a 550-foot “observation wheel” and Strip development. When completed, the wheel will link the Flamingo to the Imperial Palace, which, presumably, is why they’re calling the project “Linq.”
It will include 326,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants and stages, and Caesars VP of Communications, Marybel Batjer, is comparing the area to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Miami’s South Beach, using buzzwords like “urban gathering space.” Caesars attorney Tabitha Fiddyment says the project will “completely change this area of Las Vegas Boulevard … entirely revitalize it.”
Sound familiar? It should. That’s what was said about CityCenter, which turned out to be just another casino complex. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
Before the 2008 crash, Caesars, too, had a CityCenteresque project. They smartly nixed it. “We’re happy we did,” says Director of Corporate Communications Gary Thompson, “especially with what's happened to the economy.”
Very adult of Caesars to admit that. But this time around, let’s call a spade a spade and a tourist trap a tourist trap. It’s a shopping mall with a Ferris wheel. Presumably, Caesars is running with “observation wheel” to avoid comparisons to the 500-foot-tall Skyvue Ferris wheel going up across from Mandalay Bay. That one will be accompanied by 140,000 square feet of retail/dining/entertainment space.
Why can’t Linq and Skyvue both run with the “battle of the Ferris wheels” angle? After all, Vegas loves a good fight.
The Quad Resort & Casino, known for 33 years as the Imperial Palace, is now operating under a name and a new theme.
The Quad, which is being renovated in phases, is to become the gateway for Caesars' new Linq retail and entertainment district.
Improvements are either complete or under way this year for the exterior façade, porte cochere, front desk, bell desk, hotel lobby, retail promenade and dining levels. Renovations to the 65,000-square-foot casino were continuing in early March.
The Quad will retain the current number of 2,543 rooms and suites, along with many other features of the Palace. Those include the Shangri-la Pool, Embers steakhouse, Burger Palace, Betty’s Diner, Genseng 3, Quesadilla and the Emperor’s Buffet.
3535 Las Vegas Blvd South
One of the more historic hotel-casinos on the Strip, the Flamingo Las Vegas was built in the 1940s as an alternative to the western-themed hotels downtown. With lush gardens, waterfalls and spa, the Flamingo remains a luxurious oasis for visitors on a budget. The resort updated rooms in 2008, dubbed Go Rooms. The Go Rooms feature oversized white vinyl headboards, stylish carpets and sleek, modern furniture.
Included in the resorts 15-acre pool area, is one of the Flamingo’s more unique features: African penguins, Chilean flamingos, Mandarin ducks and Koi fish frolicking in ponds and under three-story waterfalls.
The Flamingo’s 77,000-square-foot casino offers more than 2,000 slots, 70 table games and a 100-seat race and sports book.
Restaurants include a Japanese hibachi, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and a posh American eatery called Voga.
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South