Low-stakes tourist game on pause for Caesars' Vegas Strip overhaul
Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall on the Strip will close Feb. 4 when Caesars Entertainment Corp. begins a $185 million renovation of the 198-room hotel-casino.
The hotel-casino, which was built by Michael Gaughan and opened in 1979, will be reopened in early 2014 under a new name and theme, Caesars Entertainment said in statement.
The casino’s 600 employees were notified Thursday morning of the closing under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Caesars Entertainment Senior Vice President Jan Jones said efforts are already under way to place the workers in jobs at the company’s casinos. Caesars operates 10 resorts on or near the Strip, including Caesars Palace, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood and the Rio.
Jones said the company has roughly 10,000 open positions at its more than 50 casinos throughout the U.S., and some of Bill’s soon-to-be former employees might choose to relocate.
The renamed Bill’s is expected to employ more than 1,000 workers.
Caesars Entertainment announced Thursday it closed on the financing to be used for the remodeling effort, which will transform the casino into a “boutique lifestyle hotel and club.”
“This project exemplifies our strategy to develop new experiences that will help attract a broader spectrum of visitors to Las Vegas and our properties,” Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman said in a statement. “The renovated property will provide visitors with a sophisticated, upscale experience, including a unique rooftop pool and club, which will have a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip.”
The conversion includes the complete remodeling of the guest rooms, the 17,200-square-foot casino floor and common areas, the addition of a new second-floor restaurant, and construction of the 65,000-square-foot rooftop pool and dayclub/nightclub. Drai Management Group will manage the club.
The rooftop club will open later in 2014.
Caesars Entertainment (then known as Harrah’s Entertainment) acquired the casino in 2007 from Boyd Gaming Corp. as part of a land swap. Boyd had taken over the Barbary Coast when the company acquired Coast Casinos in 2005.
Caesars rebranded the casino as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall in honor of Harrah’s founder Bill Harrah.
Gaughan said recently the building could support a rooftop nightclub and pool because he designed the Barbary Coast to have an additional four floors.
The redesign of Bill’s is Caesars’ second development project on the Strip. The company is spending $550 million on The Linq, a 300,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment district that includes a 550-foot-tall observation wheel as its centerpiece.
The project, which includes the redevelopment of the Imperial Palace as The Quad Resort and Casino, is along the same block of the Strip as Bill’s.
The Linq is expected to open by the end 2013.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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