Dealertainers at The Quad, Formerly the Imperial Palace, Are No More

Sometimes, it’s just in the cards. During our last visit to The Quad (soon to be The Linq), we witnessed the sad state of the casino’s “dealertainer” pit and predicted the demise of a beloved, although outdated, Vegas institution.

Dealertainers, blackjack dealers who also perform as famous musical artists, have been around since The Quad was the Imperial Palace, but now the hotel’s approximately 30 dealertainers have been asked to take non-dealertaining positions at The Quad or seek new gigs elsewhere.

The dealertainers are done at The Quad.

Dealertainers The Quad
Black and white photos make things seem like a much bigger deal, don’t they?

The end of the dealertainer pit comes as The Quad Resort and Casino is being rebranded as The Linq Hotel and Casino.

This most recent rebranding is happening, in large part, because of a disasterous miscalculation by Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns The Quad and other Strip resorts. Imperial Palace, an Asian-themed hotel, was very popular with Asian gamblers, a lucrative source of revenue for Las Vegas casinos. Imperial Palace was renamed The Quad as an attempt to capture a younger audience (“quad” being a meeting place on college campuses), but overlooked was the fact “quad” also means “four,” which many Asians consider bad luck because “four” and “death” sound similar in Mandarin Chinese.

This gaff has sparked another multi-million dollar rebrand just two years after Imperial Palace was rebranded to The Quad.

We’ll miss your twang, fake Garth Brooks.

The change from The Quad to The Linq hotel, in addition to the waning popularity of the dealertainers, made the removal of the quaint, but out of place, remnants of the Imperial Palace inevitable. (The dealertainers were originally inspired by the hotel’s “Legends in Concert” tribute show. That show is still going strong at Flamingo.)

Back when the dealertainers were still sort of a thing.

An obvious sign the dealertainers were doomed was how their stage had been downsized since Imperial Palace became The Quad. Here’s a shot of the stage when the dealertainer pit first opened in its new location at The Quad.

Quad dealertainer
The former elevated stage drew crowds. The problem: Crowds don’t always translate into gambling.

During our most recent visit, the stage had been downgraded to little more than a couple of carpeted steps.

The beginning of the end for the dealertainers.

Also, there was no signage featuring the dealertainers anywhere at The Quad. When The Quad was the IP, the dealertainers were promoted heavily, had their own blackjack table felts, a Big Six wheel devoted to them and they were the centerpiece of the casino.

Aretha dealertainer
Tamara as Aretha, back when the dealertainers had more to smile about.

During our visit, the frequency of performances by the dealertainers had been severely cut back. During more than an hour of play, there was one performance.

Remnants of the dealertainer era include a neglected page about the dealertainers on The Quad’s Web site that features a photo taken during the Imperial Palace days. We expect this page will face the same fate as the dealertainers and will soon have its plug pulled.

Exactly, fake Wynonna.

While we’re sorry to see the dealertainers go, in Vegas, money talks, and their time had clearly come. The dealertainers were a cheesy vestige of a different time and a different Las Vegas. With it’s massive casino and room renovation, the new Linq Hotel & Casino is likely to market to a younger, more affluent customer as Sin City’s focus shifts away from gambling toward nightlife, as can be witnessed at the nearby Cromwell or the new SLS Las Vegas.

We’re happy to have had one more chance to play in the dealertainer pit at The Quad. Our dealer seemed resigned to her fate.

On a brighter note, a Caesars Entertainment source says the dealertainers weren’t fired, but rather offered other positions within the company. It’s not known how many took new gigs and how many decided to move on.

The curtain coming down on the dealertainers marks the end of an era in Las Vegas. They’ll always hold a special place in our heart.

Update (10/4/14): According to posts on Facebook, some of the dealertainers from The Quad have found a new home at Ellis Island casino, just off The Strip.