Harrah's Entertainment isn't sitting still with one of the premium brands of anything in the world, Caesars Palace. Or just plain Caesars. When Harrah's bought the venerable hotel and casino on the Strip around two years ago many in Caesars' management feared their days in the high-end market were numbered. The precedent was there. They remembered what had happened to the Rio that Harrah's had purchased earlier and somewhat clumsily transformed to fit their middle-range marketing strategy.
Well, everybody is smiling at Caesars nowadays. The management and staff alike. Just this week Harrah's announced a massive $1 billion expansion plan at the company's flagship property. It includes the construction of another tower on Flamingo with 665 rooms, building a new 263,000-square foot convention complex, reshaping the front entrance area, again I might say, and putting in three new swimming pools. These are, among some others, the major improvements.
If the property wants to stay competitive in the upper end of the market, this is the direction it had to take. And Harrah's executive suite agreed with that assessment. There are plenty of worthy rivals. MGM Mirage is currently putting up the mammoth, mixed-use CityCenter only a half a block away, the Venetian is about to complete its expansion project called the Palazzo, Steve Wynn is working on the opulent Encore and Echelon Place across the Strip from Encore is just breaking ground. This is the latest resort development wave to hit the city in the desert valley and it already is creating excitement among resort visitors around the world.