Commercial Gaming

Harrah’s Unveils $200 Million Renovation to ‘Flagship’ Las Vegas Strip Resort

One of the oldest casinos on the Strip celebrated the completion of a four-year, $200 million overhaul on Thursday, as officials from Caesars Entertainment unveiled the redesigned Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Dan Walsh, senior vice president and general manager for Harrah’s Las Vegas, stands outside the resort Thursday as Caesars Entertainment unveiled the newly renovated hotel. Caesars spent $200 million to upgrade and update the Strip property. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

Dan Walsh, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s, launched the celebration by hitting a button that turned on the casino’s new exterior purple lighting.

As a flagship location of the iconic gaming and hospitality brand, revamping Harrah’s Las Vegas not only enhances the guest experience, but also further reflects the fun and energy that makes Las Vegas such a unique travel destination,” he said in a statement.

The purple lighting isn’t limited to just the exterior, as purple lighting highlights Harrah’s lobby and casino floor as well

After renovating the Valley Tower rooms in phases in 2016 and 2018, Harrah’s completed the redesign of all 2,542 rooms and suites last year. That included the Mountain Tower, which the company spent another $70 million to complete. Design work on the rooms was completed by Marnell Architecture.

The renovations include Harrah’s suites as well. Those accommodations now feature oversized tubs, a separate living and dining room with a wet bar, and the option to connect to two bedrooms.

Casino Property Dates Back to Early 70s

The history of Harrah’s Las Vegas dates back to 1973, when it opened as the Holiday Casino. Only six existing hotels on the Strip are older. Company executives renamed it after William Harrah, the founder of the Harrah’s Casino chain, in 1992.

Holiday Corp., which owned the casino and the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, acquired Harrah’s business in 1980, less than two years after his death.

Besides the recently completed renovation, the property has been overhauled three other times. The most recent occurred in 1997. At that time, officials spent $200 million to abandon the riverboat casino theme that it had since its opening.

Besides the more than 2,500 rooms, the resort features 87,000 square feet of gaming space, a retail sportsbook, a weekend spa, 25,000 square feet of convention space, and a skywalk that connects to the Caesars Forum conference center. Harrah’s also features six restaurants, including a Ruth’s Chris Steak House and PizzaCake by CakeBoss star Buddy Valastro.

Donny Osmond to Headline at Harrah’s

In addition to the renovations, Harrah’s also provided some more information about Donny Osmond’s return to the Strip. Osmond, with his sister Marie Osmond, were a hit duo in the 1970s, and they parlayed that fame into a long-running residency in Las Vegas. For 11 years, they performed at the Flamingo, another Caesars resort, until Nov. 2019.

According to Harrah’s, Donny Osmond will begin a multi-year residency – his first as a solo act – starting on Aug. 31. The show will run from Tuesday through Saturday, and will include a mix of his hits and new material.

Tickets for his opening night show start at $295. Regular shows start at $65.

Steve Bittenbender

Horse Racing, Sports Betting, Gaming Legislation, Midwest and Gulfport Casinos----Steve Bittenbender is a veteran reporter, and brings more than two decades of experience covering sports, gaming business, and politics and legislation to Casino.org, which he joined in 2019. Based in Louisville, Kentucky -- the epicenter of the US horse racing industry -- Steve has also covered major collegiate and professional sports for the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier Journal, and is frequently featured on local network TV newscasts and podcasts for his horse racing business and legislative expertise. A Reuters contributor, he has also previously served as editor for Government Security News. Steve lives with his wife and son, and is an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a wholesome after-school pasttime with cookies and milk. Email: stevebittenbender@casino.org

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Steve Bittenbender