THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CAESARS PALACE MARKED AT A
SPECIAL GALA DINNER
The 50th Anniversary of the opening of Caesars Palace
was marked with a special gala dinner on Saturday, August 6 featuring the appearance of several current celebrity performers
at Caesars and related properties, and some of the professional athletes who took part in events at Caesars, and a special
performance by singer Tony Bennett who sang some of his greats.
Among those appearing in person
and performing were Wayne Newton, Donny and Marie Osmond (currently performing at the Flamingo) and Matt Goss. Ironically,
it's been announced that Goss' show in the Cleopatra Barge showroom is closing. Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers also
performed and chef Gordon Ramsay spoke about how Caesars has captivate taste buds over a half century.
I am going to estimate that about 2,000 guests had dinner at the gala and among those were local politicians, current
and former employees, as well as long-time casino players and hotel guests.
Comedian Howie Mandel
hosted the event and he was top-notch for the evening. There were videos hosted by Robin Leach which told the history of Caesars
that included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Andy Williams, Muhammad Ali, George Burns, Evel Knievel, and many boxing greats.
Jerry Lewis attended the gala dinner but did not come on stage. Elton John and Celine Dion also were not in attendance
but their video greetings were shown. Tony Bennett is performing in the photo below.
It was quite a dinner too. I've attended many dinner events at
Caesars including New Year's Eve dinner events and honestly this dinner was better than any other. I enjoyed the seafood appetizer
There was a plate of chocolate desserts which included chocolate and chocolate and chocolate
and a little cheesecake thrown inside the chocolate lollipop. Oh, did I mention there was a lot of chocolate on that dessert
plate? Well, see for yourself below. The entre was Beef Wellington which was delicious and cooked perfectly for my tastes.
There were some vegetarians at my table and they were quickly served an alternate entre when they asked. I should also mention
that when I checked-into the hotel, I was given a small bag of the classic Caesars Palace gold foil covered chocolate coins
which are no longer given with turn-down service or are left in guests' rooms. There was fast service during the dinner.
There was a gift for each dinner guest. A desk piece or paperweight that included a Caesars medallion or coin
inside, with some of the designs featured on Caesars gaming tokens and chips.
Every detail for the event was carefully considered and executed including
at the end of the event when employees of Caesars Palace lined the ballroom exit walkway to applaud the guests as they departed.
It was a nice touch.
FIVE LUCKY SPOTS INSIDE CAESARS PALACE
Update June 28, 2016 As part of its 50th Anniversary Celebration, Caesars Palace has posted signs
and is giving out a brochure for a self-guided walking tour or some of the famous pieces of the rich history of Caesars. Among
the stops are the fountains that Evel Knieval tried to jump over in 1967 and five historical spots in the casino where if
you stop by or touch you are supposed to get lucky. As you walk in and around Caesars Palace you are likely to see Caesar
and Cleopatra and some muscular soldiers greeting guests and stopping to take photos. Don't be shy, they really do enjoy taking
photos. Cleo isn't supposed to talk but Caesar will chat it up with you.
Caesar chats it up with arriving guests
at the main lobby check-in. Don't ask him for towels.
As you walk into the main entrance of Caesars Palace the first thing
you'll see (if you're not looking for the craps pit or your favorite slot machine) is that statue of Augustus Caesar. "For
good luck, rub the statue's left index finger," says the folklore.
When Caesars gives you this finger to touch
it's all about giving you luck.
There is the statue of boxing legend Joe Louis and touching his glove is supposed to make you lucky. Getting
hit by the glove is something his opponents never wanted to have happen and getting hit by that glove would definitely make
you unlucky. So to sum it up: touch is lucky, hit is unlucky.
When you touch the glove it's lucky.
When the glove hits you it's not your lucky day,
Another lucky spot is the Statue of David -- touch his toe. Also
look up and gaze at the historical recreation of the famous statue and you'll never question another Barbie doll again.
Touching the toe of David will make you lucky.
The rest of his anatomy ain't bad either.
Speaking of lucky anatomy, the brochure from Caesars says to touch
the bosom at Cleopatra's Barge for good luck. I wonder if you get doubly lucky if you can touch both because unless you're
very tall you'll have to jump to do it.
Feel the luck.
Touch here for luck at Cleopatra's Barge.
The fifth lucky spot is the Brahma Shrine outside Caesars Palace
near the Serendipity restaurant on Las Vegas Boulevard. I've been visiting Caesars Palace since the late 1990's and I didn't
know this existed. The brochure says this is the place to "discover prosperity and good fortune from the East."
This is a replica of one of Thailand's most popular Buddhist shrines. You can burn incense here and stop to pray and meditate.
Offerings are brought there.
If you haven't won
and haven't stopped here, now you know what to do different. I don't discount the power of prayer. People pray in churches
and synagogues and houses of worship all over the world, but when they pray in casinos they really mean it.
Replica of one of Thiland's most popular
Buddhist shrines outside Caesars Palace.
THE HIGH-END PRIVATE GAMING AREAS OF CAESARS PALACE
Update May 30, 2016 Caesars Palace has a reputation for hosting lots of high rollers and some of these
high rollers will play in the main casino gaming area while others request and get their own private gaming suites. Actually,
the suites aren't really private. Nevada has an "open gaming law" which means that anyone can observe a game or
games in action. I've never "tested" this by watching a high roller in his own gaming suite because I don't think
the high roller would appreciate it. As one high-level gambler told me, "I don't want to be entertainment for someone."
That makes sense to me, and I would like to respect a high roller.
However, you will not be chased
out of the high limit rooms at Caesars Palace just like you wouldn't be asked to move away from watching a craps game in action
in the main casino. However, if you are not playing and taking up a player position at the table, you might be asked to step
back to allow a player to take that spot at the table.
There are two high-level gaming areas at
Caesars. One is called the Palace Court slots area, and the other is called the Palace Court table games area. They are actually
separate rooms. There are $100 and up slot machines in the Palace Court slots area but there are also a few lower-limit slot
and video poker games there. Anyone can walk in to look around and observe the action or play if they choose. The Palace Court
table games area is also open to the general public and anyone can walk in and watch the action but if you are just sightseeing
you might find some of the players will give you a dirty look.
Inside the Palace Court table games
area is where you will find the so-called private gaming salons. These are separate rooms with just a few tables or maybe
even a single table which can be reserved by a high roller or "whale" which is what some high rollers are called.
While the Palace Court table games area has blackjack at $200 a hand and single-zero roulette at $25 per bet, the private
gaming salons can have gaming limits customed designed for high rollers. These gaming salons also have some interesting features
including food-service areas and private bathrooms and even a shower, I was told. The gaming tables in the private gaming
salons can also be shifted to meeting the desires of the high roller, I was told. "If he has a $3-million credit limit,"
one dealer told me, "he can have in one room a roulette game and a craps game and a blackjack game. We'll just shift
the tables around to meet his needs."
There currently isn't a craps table in the Palace Court
table games area, but about ten years ago I was invited to play in a special craps tournament that was held in the Palace
Court on a craps table that was moved into the Palace Court just for the tournament.
SEVEN STARS LOUNGE INSIDE THE PALACE COURT
I discovered that there is something else
that is not well known inside the Palace Court table games area. It's a snack room or food service lounge for Seven Stars
members of the Total Rewards program. Any Seven Stars card holder is welcome. It's like a mini-Diamond Lounge except it's
only for Seven Stars. And frankly, it's not as nice or as attractive as the Diamond Lounge inside Caesars. The Seven Stars
food service lounge has a few tables that seat no more than about 20 guests and there are hot and cold food items. Unfortunately,
the selection of food is not well stocked. I went into the Seven Stars area twice -- at two different times on the same day
-- and found the food dishes and serving areas were empty. You can serve yourself coffee or tea, also and a waitress and cocktail
server comes by. Unlike the Diamond Lounge the Seven Stars area is always open but that doesn't mean there is always something
to eat. Frankly, it's not worth your time or trouble unless you want to pick up an apple or a cup of coffee or some snack
from a serving dish that has been picked over. There's a photo of the entrance below. This is not visible from the main casino
area. It's down a hallway inside the Palace Court table games area and I found it only because I was looking for the private
gaming areas so I could write this article. I've been going to Caesars for a long time and I've been a Seven Stars member
for several years, and no one has ever mentioned this room. I guess it's a "semi-secret" room.
Seven Stars mini-lounge inside the Palace Court
high-limit table games area at Caesars Palace.
CAESARS PALACE IS "CENTER STRIP" AND CENTER OF
The first time I visited Caesars Palace was about 1998. I learned how to
play craps there and I learned how to play video poker there. And I also learned that when they said Caesars Palace was a
"center strip casino" what they really were saying was that Caesars Palace was at the center of it all.
You've heard that Caesars Palace was iconic. It is indeed iconic and more. Caesars for decades had the reputation
of being the best and having the best. It was the place that had the best entertainers including Frank Sinatra and Celine
Dion. It was the place that had the best restaurants and the best buffets. It certainly was known for having the best craps
pit with the best dealers.
Caesars was also the casino that attracted some of the celebrity gamblers
that came from sports, entertainment, even government. I fondly recall the times I played craps with Rene Angelil, the late
husband of Celine Dion.
Over the years Caesars Palace evolved to having the best shopping with
its adjacent Forum Shops. For a while it hosted the best boxing in Vegas. And the hotel service was always superb.
When the part of the Caesars empire that included Caesars Palace went into bankruptcy, there were some negative changes
at Caesars but it remained one of the best if not the best of the casino hotel resorts in the city.
you are at Caesars you are literally in the center of it all and steps from the rest of the center strip casinos. And if you
are lucky enough to be at Caesars Palace on New Year's Eve as I was on December 31st, 2015 and you had a Strip-view room you
could watch the Strip light up with fireworks. Watch my video below of what I saw outside my window following a magnificent
concert by Celine Dion and then dinner at the Old Homestead Steakhouse.
THINGS I LIKE ABOUT CAESARS PALACE
There are some things I like about Caesars Palace that keep me choosing Caesars over other casino hotels in Las Vegas.
First is the hotel rooms. I am not a high roller so I don't stay in a suite or a penthouse or where high rollers spend their
nights, but I do always get a nice room. The rooms are always nicely furnished and housekeeping always does a good job and
in all my years going there the housekeeping staff has always been friendly.
Sure, over the years
there have been some minor problems with getting my room made up or running out of tissues, or maybe a sink drained slowly,
but in the scheme of things these are minor and rarely happen and could happen anywhere.
I really appreciate is that Caesars has its rooms well designed.
MY FAVORITE HOTEL ROOMS
I prefer to stay in the Augustus Tower. The rooms I've stayed in all have had two sinks in the bathrooms
and other high-end hotels only have one sink. If you're traveling with a spouse or a friend or a girlfriend that extra sink
at Caesars makes a big difference. The toilet in the Augustus Tower bathroom is in its own "water closet" or separate
room and that's a nice feature which allows some privacy if you are sharing the room with another.
also enjoy staying in the Palace Tower in a room called the "Petitie Suite." I happen to love those rooms because
they have two bathrooms connected by a large adjoining shower that you can enter from either side -- the his side or the hers
side. There is the larger bathroom for "her" and the smaller bathroom for "him," and then the joint shower.
Caesars has always had a 24-hour restaurant. Believe it
or not, not every high-end casino resort in Vegas has a 24-hour dining option. For example, Bellagio which is Caesars' nearest
competitor has done away with its 24-hour cafe. If you ask me, any casino offering 24-hour gaming must have a 24-hour
MINOR CHANGES SINCE THE BANKRUPTCY
are some things that Caesars Palace has done away with because of its bankruptcy. Gone are the bathrobes in the room and some
of the soaps that were in the bathroom. Gone are the chocolate coins on the nightstand next to the bed. Gone are the slippers
next to the bed. But there has never been a drop in service from the employees.
I order room service a lot when I am at Caesars and frankly it's one of the best
room service menus. I happen to like that Caesars automatically adds the server's tip onto the check which makes it easy to
sign and dine and get back to watching a movie or just enjoying the meal in private. The servers have always been pleasant
Years ago I found out that Caesars actually has its own special kitchen just for room
service and that makes sense. Before I found that out I wasn't really sure where the food came from and if they had to scurry
about the different restaurants to put together an order. Having a unique room service kitchen made perfect sense. And what
is really interesting is that there are some dishes that are only available on the room service menu. For example, for years
a rack of lamb was only available with in-room dining. Caesars also has an excellent room service menu for Asian food and
I just absolutely loved the War Won Ton Soup which was a meal itself until it was dropped from the in-room dining menu in
June of 2016.
When you order ice cream as dessert from in-room dining, you just don't get a couple
of scoops of ice cream in a bowl. You get a whole pint. Recently, Caesars in-room dining has been serving pints of Payard
There is a basic rule for in-room dining that I have come to expect: Hot food is served
hot. Cold food comes cold. Utensils are clean. Service is fast and pleasant. Yes, room service costs more but you expect that.
My in-room dining is something I always look forward to.
LOVE THE EMPLOYEES
Now I am going to pay some compliments to employees who rarely get a public compliment.
First the car valets: they are always friendly and as fast as they can possibly be. I've seen valets run to retrieve
cars even when the temperature was well above 100-degrees. I've seen valets smile and be pleasant as they wait while you get
your things together when the temperature is below freezing.
Now, the casino cage cashiers: hopefully
you visit the cashiers often to cash out your chips. I have always found them to be pleasant and fast and they continue to
be pleasant even when there are long lines of rowdy patrons waiting to cash in chips or take out credit card advances.
You should of course join the Total Rewards players club and I have always had friendly representatives at the Total
Rewards desk to handle various promotions and offers. Even if I get a "newer employee" who doesn't have everything
figured out, everything is handled quickly and with a smile and supervisors are always there to step in to handle problems.
And now a note about hotel and casino security. In late 2015 Caesars changed the uniforms of its security staff and
now they are dressed like "secret service agents" in black suits (men in black) with badges instead of police/security
uniforms. It's a nice touch. And it's an elegant change. But they are still security and they know their stuff.
I've had security check on me a few times in the past when I became ill while playing. They are fast, they are attentive,
and they quickly summon medical assistance. You can feel secure playing there.
I am not sure what
their current policy is for undercover security but I have to tell you a story about something I witnessed some years ago
over a holiday weekend when the casino was jammed. There were some rowdy players at a craps table who were drinking too much
and one of the players pushed a dealer at the craps table. Within a few seconds what appeared to be two undercover security
guards jumped out of their seats at nearby blackjack tables to control the rowdy craps player. That's when I realized Caesars
had security blended in with players, playing at the tables, to keep things safe.
THE PET-FRIENDLY ROOMS
Caesars Palace was also one of the first to be pet-friendly.
What I found interesting was that the pet friendly rooms have their carpets cleaned after every guest check-out, unlike other
rooms that don't have their carpets cleaned after every check-out.
CLEAN AND NEAT
Caesars is also a very clean casino. Slot machines and video poker machines are kept clean. Table game
areas are kept clean.
Once I was at a craps table when a player cut himself on some sharp keys
he had in his pocket. A few drops of blood from the player's hand landed on the table. Caesars managers immediately shut down
the game and called in a medical team to treat the player's hand for the minor cut. At the same time the player was told not
to touch his chips and new, replacement chips were given to him. Then all of the players and the dealers were moved to another
table which was not in use. While the game continued at the other table, a special cleaning crew was called in to sanitize
the table. They had gloves and face masks and special cleaning supplies to sanitize the table because of a few drops of blood.
AN HISTORIC PHOTO OF THE ORIGINAL CAESARS PALACE CRAPS
This is a photo of the original Caesars Palace craps pit under the dome in
the Palace Casino section of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Shortly after this photo was taken these original tables -- some
50 years old -- were removed from the casino and replaced with new, slightly larger wider and slightly longer tables. This
particular photo was taken when there was a minor fire at Caesars Palace and the casino was evacuated which is why you don't
see players or dealers. There is an article about the new tables at Caesars which also have new layouts and you can read that
article by clicking here.
What really impressed me about the new craps tables at Caesars is that they were set up to
make the game more efficient and to help the dealers with their job. The height of the tables was changed and the layouts
were changed so dealers would not have to stretch and bend as much as before and this will help protect the health of the
employees at the games. It was a very innovative and wise change.
Not every change in the craps
pit has been a positive change. Caesars Palace was the first to decide that craps boxmen could be replaced. It was a controversial
move that slowed the game as dealers now had to take in cash and handle chips to new players as well as cash-outs. It also
removed a pair of eyes from the table that cut down on security for the house and for the players. There are still some casinos
in Vegas where there is a boxman sitting at the table, but you won't find one at Caesars. It was a money-saving change, Caesars
management said at the time, and that change remains controversial to this day and many wonder if it really saved Caesars
any money at all.
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, craps pit.
Original craps tables going back to 1966 opening.
YES, PEOPLE DO WIN
Below is a photo of a $25/coin royal flush hit at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
that paid $100,000.
A Royal Flush happens 1/42,000 hands in this game.
Some pay $200, some pay $100,000.
I have had some lucky times at Caesars Palace and I've
hit quite a few Royals at video poker. I even sang about one royal flush. This was several years ago and these Game King machines
no longer are used at Caesars.
THE FORUM CASINO
The Forum Casino is the "second casino" inside Caesars Palace and it's probably larger than the Palace
Casino which is at the front entrance. The Palace Casino is the casino under the dome and where the main craps pit is as well
as the higher limit table games. High limit slot areas surround the dome and off to the side of the dome is a high limit table
The Forum Casino is where you will find lower limit table and slot and video poker
games. There is also a video poker section. The Forum Casino is also where the sports book and the poker room are located.
If you are not comfortable with the higher limit games in the Palace Casino area, walk over to the Forum Casino.
There is also an "overflow" craps table in the Forum Casino. This table is generally only used on weekend
nights when the tables in the Palace Casino are filled. The table in the Forum Casino usually has lower limits as well. I've
seen the minimum bet as low as $5 on the Forum Casino table.
CAESARS PALACE ADDS SELF-SERVE HOTEL CHECK-IN
Caesars has also been a casino hotel resort with innovation. In the spring of 2016, Caesars added self-serve hotel
check-in machines in the main lobby and it didn't take long for guests to find the devices and to use them.
You simply scan your government ID such as a driver license or
passport, and enter your credit card into the slot, and provide some basic info, and out pops the paperwork and a printed
room key card. There are some drawbacks, namely you can't debate with the machine over what room you're getting and whether
or not there is a view of the fountains at the Bellagio. If you like to have a room near the elevators or on a lower floor
you can't discuss that with the machine either.
When I took these photos I didn't try out the devices because
I had already checked-in. I didn't see the self-serve machines till later in my visit. Had I known they were there I would
have gladly tried them because I am not really particular about my room to begin with.
GETTING MARRIED AT CAESARS PALACE
I love Caesars Palace for everything -- including my third wedding. Yes, I was married three times and the third
time was at Caesars. Caesars advertises the idea about "getting married in a palace" and not only did I get married
in the Palace, but I got married in the craps pit. With a Rabbi and a complete Jewish ceremony and I even broke the wine glass
at the conclusion of the ceremony. The ceremony was going on for a few minutes when the players in the crowded casino finally
caught on that "something" was "happening" over at a craps table. That something was the wedding ceremony.
And when it came time for me to stomp on the glass -- a Jewish tradition -- the entire casino was hushed and watching and
the games had stopped. I stomped on the glass and the entire casino burst out with a roaring Mazel Tov which is good
luck in Hebrew. It was the first time a wedding took place at a craps table at Caesars Palace and it was the only wedding
to take place at a craps table at Caesars Palace. The marriage didn't last, but it did last longer than any craps roll in
history... and the memory will never go away. See the photo below.
CAESARS PALACE PUBLIC RESTROOMS, AND NOT SO PUBLIC RESTROOMS
I've been going to Caesars Palace for more than a decade, and I didn't know there was a restroom in
the high limit slots area. Well, to be honest, I don't play much in the high limit slots area because even the lowest denomination
games can be too rich for my budget. But on a recent trip, I stopped in to ask if they had a restroom -- and there was one.
A slot floor person pointed to a door in the center of the high limit slots area. When I looked in the high limit slots area
before I was certain that the door led to an office -- perhaps for a host, but I was wrong. Behind the door is a small lounge
with a big screen TV, snacks including candies and nuts and chips and pretzels, bottles of water -- and the doors to the restrooms.
So, I took a peek inside the men's room. I'm not sure everyone is welcomed to walk in.
Actually, it was what you would expect anywhere else at Caesars Palace. It's clean, and neat, and tidy and
lives up to the high standards you would expect to see and you do see throughout Caesars (see our additional report below).
Plenty of hand towels in the restroom, with a touch free urinal and it's a private restroom so you can lock the door while
you do your business. High limit slot players -- playing $100 or more per pull or push of the button -- deserve that,
Restroom in the high limits slots
at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
What was different about this restroom, however, was that next to the
toilet (there are seat covers, not in the photo) is a telephone. I'm not sure that I would want to have a conversation
with anyone while doing my business in a restroom, but there's one just in case you need to call your casino host, boost your
credit line, or let the restaurant know you'll be a bit late for your reservation.
Phone by the throne
to call your host, boost your credit line, etc.
CAESARS PALACE PUBLIC RESTROOMS
Palace is known for its exceptional service and indeed the public restrooms at Caesars are kept exceptionally clean.
There is a restroom in the Diamond/7Stars check-in office. Beautiful, well-kept, very clean, paper towels within reach
but unfortunately if you want a touch-free hand-washing experience you won't find it here. However, with the supply
of paper towels there, you can easily turn the water on and off using a hand towel, and you can open the door handle with
a towel as well.
Most of the public restrooms at Caesars look like the restroom near
the gift shop on the first floor of the Augustus Tower. It's beautiful and clean and well kept and the faucets are controlled
by motion detectors and there are plenty of paper towel dispensers. This restroom near the lobby has the modern design
where the entrance to the restroom goes around corners so there is no need to touch door handles. The soap dispenser
is also motion-activated and I have to complement Caesars for having lots of tissue dispensers in the rest rooms and also
in the gaming pits there are boxes of tissues for players to use -- just ask for them before you have to sneeze.
Caesars Palace also has a public restroom just outside the Forum Casino of Caesars at
the entrance to the Forum Shops which is at the base of the steps and escalator. This is one of the more spacious of
the public restrooms and like the other public restrooms at Caesars it is well attended and this men's room has
the reputation for being "the best" of the public restrooms at Caesars Palace.
in 2016 the main restrooms off the slot area in the Palace Casino were remodeled. They have the modern touch-free conveniences
and they are beautiful and clean and neat.
For more about casino public restrooms
and the best public restrooms click here.
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