When it comes to Las Vegas, even though there are many different casinos and hotels, there are only a few that have such a rich history and are responsible for turning Vegas into a city that never sleeps.
One of them is Caesars Palace, which is without a doubt one of the most luxurious hotels and casinos in Nevada and quite a big tourist attraction. Even if you’ve never been to Vegas, there is a good chance that you already know about Caesars Palace since it has been in many movies like Hangover, and receives a lot of attention from the media.
But we are interested in how the process started, and how this hotel & casino became the biggest one in the region.
Well, Caesars Palace has a long history (more than 50 years). Throughout that time, the hotel & casino was always pushing boundaries of technology and architecture in order to follow the latest trends and make it the go-to spot in Vegas.
Nowadays, you don’t even have to go to Vegas to experience some Caesar gambling action. You can find a complete review of Caesars online casino here: hoopcasino.com/casino/caesars/
But let’s learn more about its history and how it managed to become one of the biggest casinos in the world.
History of Caesars Casino
Most people don’t know this but Caesars Casino wasn’t the first name choice when the building was finished. In fact, this establishment was going to be called Cabana Palace. Then, the team behind it came up with another name “Desert Palace”.
But none of them sparked a reaction and they weren’t the perfect fit for the architecture they were going for.
When the front doors opened on August 5, 1966, there was no mistake who owned this massive columned temple: The greeters costumed as gladiators, and servers dressed as Cleopatra made it plain that this was Caesars Palace.
The idea to build an ancient Rome-themed hotel and casino in the middle of the Nevada desert came from Jay Jackson Sarno, an Atlanta motel mogul who, along with partners Nate Jacobson and Stanley Mallin, built what would become the most historic Las Vegas property of them all, backed by a $10.6 million loan from the Teamsters.
Laurel and Hardy of early-era Las Vegas were Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin. After meeting in college in Missouri, the couple established and maintained the Cabana Hotels in Georgia, California, and Texas before deciding to create the magnificent Caesars Palace, a 680-room, 14-story skyscraper in Las Vegas. Sarno and Mallin, on the other hand, faced two issues: no land and no money.
The Cabana Palace, or Desert Palace as it was also known in development, required a landowner who would take a chance on two Missouri upstarts with no casino expertise and a vision to build something more intriguing than another desert-style hotel.
But this journey wasn’t smooth. In fact, getting a loan for $10 million wasn’t easy back in the day. They managed to get the money from the Teamsters Union pension fund, which is often considered “the mob bank”.
On top of that, most of the money was spent on the construction of this incredible hotel and casino, and on the opening night, the finances were really tight.
The opening night was crazy! There were close to 2,000 guests, that consumed 2 tons of filet mignon and 50,000 glasses of champagne.
In fact, they had to borrow an additional $2 million just to stay open.
The celebration had to come to an end at some point. The Federal Government was closely scrutinizing Las Vegas casino ownership, and Caesars, to put it kindly, was not a minor player, putting Sarno and Mallin's positions in peril.
Because federal officials were closing in, Sarno and Mallin, together with the other owners, sold their stake in Caesars to the Perlman Brothers of Miami for $58 million in 1969, barely three years after it opened.
Why is Caesars Palace so Popular?
Well, it is all because of its unique architecture, luxurious style, state-of-the-art entertainment, and huge events that put Caesars Palace on the map. Caesars has been in the heart of the city's greatest sporting and entertainment events for the past 50 years.
It's where Evel Knievel crashed — and nearly died — while attempting history's most famous motorcycle jump, Muhammad Ali was knocked out by Larry Holmes in one of boxing's most-watched bouts, and Frank Sinatra and countless others performed at the Circus Maximus showroom (until it was demolished and replaced by The Colosseum, where Celine Dion performed as Vegas' first "resident artist”.
The Caesars Palace had many ups and downs throughout history but still managed to stay on top of the leaderboard for best casinos and resorts in Las Vegas.
So, if you’ve never been to Vegas and wondering where to stay, maybe you should treat yourself with something nice, like the Caesars Palace resort.