Caesar’s Palace plans new luxury tower

Las Vegas‘ famed Caesars Palace yesterday announced opening dates for the Octavius Tower, a 668-room hotel tower including 60 suites and six luxury villas. On sale today for stays beginning January 2, 2012, the resort’s sixth tower will offer a “resort within a resort” experience with a private entrance, separate hotel lobby and direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool oasis and gardens. Rooms will go on sale Thursday, September 15, for guest arrivals beginning January 2, 2012.

While expansions and additions to Las Vegas hotels are nothing new, the Octavius Tower marks another luxury market expansion, similar to properties like Wynn (Encore) and The Venetian (The Palazzo) that have opened separate yet related luxury hotels near their own properties in recent years. The expansion comes hot on the heels of more than two years of renovations and major milestones (remember The Hangover?) and the opening and planned opening of restaurants like Central Michel Richard, Nobu and Old Homestead Steakhouse.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the timing for the opening of Octavius Tower,” said Gary Selesner, regional president of Caesars Palace. “With very high hotel occupancy over the last six months and the unqualified success of the Augustus Tower – Octavius’ sister tower – we look forward to offering our guests the new luxury rooms along with an elevated service experience in both towers.”

Spacious guest rooms, starting at 550 square feet, will offer a modern, luxurious decor incorporating new technological advances found at other Strip hotels, including 42-inch flat panel, high-definition television screens, convenient media hubs with multiple outlets for easy connectivity, and bedside docking stations with iPod capabilities.

An innovative application for iPad/iPod Touch devices will offer guests direct accessibility to communicate with room service, housekeeping, reservations and front desk services.

The opening of the Octavius Tower marks the completion of the $860 million Caesars Palace expansion.

Las Vegas to get a London Eye-like Ferris wheel & amusement park

In an effort to boost Las Vegas’ family appeal, Clark County commissioners have approved plans to build a new amusement park on the Las Vegas Strip. Located at the former site of the Cloud Nine Balloon near Mandalay Bay, the 9-acre attraction will include shops, restaurants, and several roller coasters.

The new amusement park’s biggest draw will likely be a massive $100 million dollar Ferris wheel in the vein of the London Eye. Like that attraction, developers hope Vegas’ wheel will be as popular and as iconic. The 500-foot tall Ferris wheel will feature air conditioned, family room-sized gondolas. The amusement park and Ferris wheel are set to open in 2013. Las Vegas’ KTNV has more.

This seems to be part of a growing trend as similar observation wheels have been proposed at the New Jersey Meadowlands and in downtown Atlanta. Cities likely see them as strong revenue producers thanks to the success of the London Eye, one of London’s top tourist attractions.

[Image credit: Flickr user – Wilfried.b]

Las Vegas hotel pool boasts a unique feature … a ‘death ray’

Guests at Las Vegas‘ newest addition to the strip, Vdara Hotel & Spa, may be getting more than they bargained for when they head to the pool for some fun in the sun. According to several recent reports, the hotel’s southern-facing tower causes hot spots of up to 130 degrees to be reflected across the pool deck at various times of day.

Vdara employees have referred to the spots as the “Vdara death ray,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote in a recent article. Apparently MGM prefers “hot spot” or “solar convergence.” We wonder why …

Despite high-tech film installed by hotel architects, the pool still experiences periodic temperature spikes as the sun moves across the building’s surface.

Bill Pintas, a guest from Chicago, reported to the Review-Journal that after taking a dip in the hotel pool on September 16th he became so uncomfortably hot that he felt as if he was “effectively being cooked.” He reports that his hair had been scorched due to the high temperatures and that hotel employees were aware of the issue.

Other reports include the melting of disposable drink glasses and the melting of a portion of Pintas’ plastic newspaper bag.

MGM management reports that while they are looking into the issue, the ‘death ray’ is effectively a “moving target” and thus poses a difficult problem. The hotel has proposed additional sun cover in the form of umbrellas, shade structures and increased foliage.

Although the Review-Journal article reports that Pintas doesn’t plan to sue, we wonder if recent media attention will prompt a slew of lawsuits against the hotel or designers.

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Mandalay Bay installs self-serve beer taps

Because there aren’t enough bars, clubs, restaurants, kiosks and servers catering to the dry mouths of Las Vegas patrons, the Mandalay Bay is joining the trend of hotels along the Strip installing self-serve beer taps throughout its hotel.

The pour-your-own-pint DraftMaster beer dispensing systems are already in 10 Las Vegas hotels. Why? Why should you have to wait for anything in Las Vegas, least of all a beer? Las Vegas is all about doing what you want, when you want, how you want it, so if you want a pint, why not pour it yourself?

According to the hotel, DraftMaster comes in two styles-fixed and mobile. The fixed table has four taps on the top connected to kegs underground, and the mobile unit features two taps on top with the kegs positioned in a compartment underneath the table. Each unit has the entire beer dispensing system built in, with cooling units and pressurized beer dispensing systems packaged underneath to keep the beer flowing at the perfect temperature, and the taps on top of each unit can rotate up to 320 degrees for flexible access.

Of course, each DraftMaster is controlled through an operating system behind the bar that allows the bartender to allocate the proper amount of beer to each table. In other words, if you think you’re tapping into this keg after a bender of a night out, think again… (that’s why they have a mini-bar in your hotel room).

Fourteen things you didn’t know about Las Vegas

The creative minds at Renters Insurance have created a fantastic infographic for us – with 14 things you (probably) didn’t know about Las Vegas.

For example, did you know that you can rent a hotel room in Las Vegas that comes with its own basketball court? Or a bowling alley? Or that the Bellagio uses 1,650 cameras to keep an eye on its guests (and track cheaters)?

Check out these 14 fascinating facts, and amaze your friends next time the topic of Las Vegas comes up at the dinner table.


[SOURCE: Renters Insurance]