Caesars Palace scheduled for $75M update despite bankruptcy |

Caesars Palace scheduled for $75M update despite bankruptcy

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip is getting a $75 million upgrade for its 50th birthday despite facing a complicated bankruptcy reorganization and millions of dollars in fines.

Parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced that it’s overhauling the hotel’s original Roman Tower of rooms, last redone in 2001. The iconic Roman-themed property is the only Strip casino owned and operated by a Caesars subsidiary that is trying to shed $10 billion of its $18.4 billion in debt by restructuring.

Caesars Palace was recently fined $9.5 million by federal and state regulators for failing to take steps to prevent money laundering in the casino.

Chris Jones, a gambling industry analyst with Union Gaming, said it would be difficult for anyone involved in the bankruptcy case, including Caesars’ creditors, to argue that a capital investment to improve the nearly 15-year-old rooms would be a bad call.

He said it doesn’t help anyone if the tower, closed for construction since mid-September, is not making money. The 567-room tower will get 20 more rooms and a new name: the Julius Tower.

“It’s a renovation that has to happen, considering how old the room product is,” Jones said.

Caesars Palace, which opened on Aug. 5, 1966, and became a Hollywood favorite in movies such as “Rain Man” and “The Hangover,” has grown to about 3,960 rooms spread across six towers.

“We continue to reinvent Rome . and Las Vegas” Caesars Palace regional president Gary Selesner said in a statement.

Renovated rooms are expected to be ready for overnight guests starting Jan. 1 and go for $149 a night on average — about $20 to $30 more than before.

The subsidiary, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., which owns and operates 38 of the parent company’s 50 casino-hotels worldwide, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January after being bogged down by a debt-heavy buyout in 2008 just as the recession took hold.

Other Caesars Entertainment Corp. subsidiaries that aren’t directly affected by the bankruptcy, own the company’s other Las Vegas properties, including a single hotel tower within Caesars Palace called Octavius Tower.

It was not clear if the spending to renovate Caesars Palace had been approved by the bankruptcy court in Chicago where the case is being heard or if it needed to be.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.