The famed Caesars Palace is one of the most iconic casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. If you’re wondering who owns this magnificent Roman Empire-themed property, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Caesars Palace is currently owned by VICI Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the full history of Caesars Palace’s ownership from its early beginnings in 1966 to today, including all the mergers, acquisitions, and real estate investment trust (REIT) spinoffs that have impacted ownership over the decades.
You’ll learn about the original founders Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin, as well as the various parent companies like Hilton Hotels, Harrah’s Entertainment, and Caesars Entertainment who have owned the resort. We’ll also cover VICI Properties’ current majority ownership and operation by Caesars Entertainment.
The Origins of Caesars Palace in 1966
Caesars Palace, one of the iconic landmarks on the Las Vegas Strip, has a fascinating history that dates back to its opening in 1966. Let’s delve into the origins of this legendary resort and casino.
Built by Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin
Caesars Palace was the brainchild of Jay Sarno, a visionary entrepreneur, and Stanley Mallin, an experienced hotel executive. Sarno had a unique vision for creating a casino resort that would transport guests back to ancient Rome, complete with grandeur and opulence.
Sarno’s Vision for a Roman Empire Theme
Sarno’s vision for Caesars Palace was to recreate the grandeur and extravagance of ancient Rome. From the moment guests entered the resort, they were greeted by Roman-inspired architecture, including towering columns, grand fountains, and statues of Roman emperors.
The interior of the resort featured elaborate mosaics, marble floors, and luxurious furnishings, all designed to transport visitors to a bygone era.
Mallin Secured Funding and Construction
While Sarno had the vision, Mallin played a crucial role in securing the funding and overseeing the construction of Caesars Palace. Mallin had extensive experience in the hotel industry and used his connections to secure the necessary financing for the ambitious project.
He also worked closely with architects and contractors to ensure that Sarno’s vision was brought to life in every detail.
Together, Sarno and Mallin created a Las Vegas landmark that would go on to become one of the most recognizable resorts in the world. Caesars Palace has continued to evolve over the years, expanding its offerings and amenities to cater to the changing tastes of its guests.
Today, it remains a symbol of luxury and entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip.
Hilton Hotels Takes Ownership (1968-1998)
In 1968, Caesars Palace, one of the most iconic resorts in Las Vegas, was sold to Hilton Hotels. This marked a significant milestone in the history of the famous hotel and casino. Under Hilton’s ownership, Caesars Palace underwent major transformations and became even more synonymous with luxury and entertainment.
Caesars Palace Sold to Hilton Hotels
The acquisition of Caesars Palace by Hilton Hotels was a strategic move that allowed the resort to tap into the vast resources and expertise of a renowned hospitality brand. The sale price was an impressive $60 million, reflecting the value and potential of the Las Vegas landmark.
Hilton Hotels, already a prominent player in the industry, recognized the immense appeal of Caesars Palace and saw an opportunity to further establish their presence in the Las Vegas market. This acquisition enabled them to expand their portfolio and cater to a wider range of guests.
Major Expansions Under Hilton Ownership
During Hilton’s ownership, Caesars Palace underwent significant expansions and renovations. The hotel tower was expanded, adding more rooms to accommodate the growing number of visitors flocking to Las Vegas.
The iconic Roman-themed architecture and lavish decor were enhanced to create a truly immersive experience for guests.
One notable addition during Hilton’s ownership was the construction of the Circus Maximus Showroom, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue that hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment at the time.
This further solidified Caesars Palace’s reputation as a premier entertainment destination in Las Vegas.
Shift to Focus on High Roller Market
Under Hilton’s ownership, Caesars Palace shifted its focus to cater to the high roller market. The resort made significant investments in creating exclusive VIP areas and offering personalized services to attract discerning gamblers and affluent clientele.
With the addition of high-end amenities such as private gaming rooms, luxurious suites, and gourmet dining options, Caesars Palace became a go-to destination for high rollers from around the world. The resort’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous was cemented during this period.
Harrah’s Entertainment Era (1998-2005)
Harrah’s Purchased Caesars in 1998 Merger
During the Harrah’s Entertainment era, one of the significant milestones was the acquisition of Caesars Palace in 1998. Harrah’s, a well-known casino and hotel company, merged with Caesars Entertainment Corporation to form one of the largest gaming companies in the world.
The merger not only added Caesars Palace to Harrah’s portfolio but also brought in several other iconic properties under its umbrella.
Harrah’s Expanded Caesars Brand Nationwide
Following the merger, Harrah’s made significant efforts to expand the Caesars brand nationwide. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and loyalty, Harrah’s implemented its Total Rewards program across all Caesars properties.
This program offered various benefits and incentives to frequent customers, creating a loyal customer base for the Caesars brand. As a result, Caesars Palace became synonymous with luxury and entertainment, attracting visitors from across the globe.
Continued Growth of Amenities and Attractions
Under Harrah’s Entertainment, Caesars Palace witnessed continued growth in its amenities and attractions. The iconic property underwent renovations and expansions to enhance the overall guest experience.
From world-class restaurants and luxury spas to extravagant entertainment venues and high-end shopping, Caesars Palace became a one-stop destination for leisure and entertainment in Las Vegas.
Furthermore, Harrah’s Entertainment invested in the development of new attractions within the Caesars Palace complex. The Colosseum, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, became the home for legendary performers like Celine Dion and Elton John.
This addition further solidified Caesars Palace’s reputation as a premier entertainment destination in Las Vegas.
Throughout the Harrah’s Entertainment era, Caesars Palace thrived under the guidance of its new owners. The merger with Harrah’s not only expanded the Caesars brand but also brought in a fresh perspective on customer service and entertainment.
The next era would see further growth and transformation for Caesars Palace.
Caesars Entertainment Ownership (2005-2014)
During the period from 2005 to 2014, the ownership of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas went through several significant changes. Let’s take a closer look at this timeline to understand the evolution of Caesars Entertainment Corporation.
Harrah’s Renamed to Caesars Entertainment
In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., a renowned casino and hotel company, acquired Caesars Entertainment, Inc., which included the iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Following this acquisition, Harrah’s Entertainment decided to rebrand the entire company as Caesars Entertainment Corporation, adopting the name of its flagship property.
This strategic decision aimed to leverage the brand recognition and prestige associated with Caesars Palace. By unifying all its properties under the Caesars Entertainment name, the company sought to create a stronger brand identity and capitalize on the reputation and allure of Caesars Palace.
Largest Gaming Company in the World
After the acquisition and rebranding, Caesars Entertainment Corporation became the largest gaming company in the world. The company owned and operated numerous casinos and resorts across the United States and internationally, solidifying its position as an industry leader.
With the addition of Caesars Palace, Caesars Entertainment gained an iconic property that attracted visitors from around the globe. The resort’s luxurious amenities, world-class entertainment, and renowned casino made it a must-visit destination for tourists and gambling enthusiasts alike.
Financial Struggles During Great Recession
However, the years following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession posed significant challenges for Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The company faced substantial financial struggles due to a decline in consumer spending and a drop in tourism.
Caesars Palace, along with other properties owned by the company, experienced a decrease in revenue, which put a strain on its operations. The company had to implement cost-cutting measures and seek financial assistance to navigate through this difficult period.
Despite the financial difficulties, Caesars Entertainment Corporation continued to invest in its properties, including Caesars Palace, to maintain its reputation as a premier destination in Las Vegas.
The company worked on enhancing the resort’s offerings and renovating its facilities to attract visitors and ensure a memorable experience.
Caesars Becomes Part of Real Estate Investment Trust (2014-Present)
In 2014, Caesars Entertainment Corporation underwent a major restructuring that led to the separation of its real estate assets from its operating business. This move was aimed at reducing the company’s debt and improving its financial position.
As a result, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (CEOC) was created, along with two new entities – Caesars Entertainment Resort Properties (CERP) and VICI Properties.
Creation of Three Separate Companies
As part of the restructuring, Caesars Entertainment Corporation divided its properties and operations into three distinct companies. The first, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, was formed to handle the day-to-day operations of the resorts and casinos.
The second, Caesars Entertainment Resort Properties, was established to own and manage the physical real estate assets of the company. Lastly, VICI Properties was created as a real estate investment trust (REIT) to own a significant portion of the real estate assets.
VICI Properties Owns Real Estate
VICI Properties, the real estate investment trust (REIT) created as part of the restructuring, is now the owner of the physical properties of Caesars Entertainment. This includes iconic properties like Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, as well as a portfolio of other resorts and casinos across the United States.
VICI Properties leases these properties back to Caesars Entertainment Operating Company under long-term agreements, allowing them to continue operating the resorts and casinos.
Being a REIT, VICI Properties benefits from certain tax advantages and regulations. It is required by law to distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. This structure allows investors to indirectly own a share of the famous Caesars Palace and other properties while receiving regular income from the dividends.
Caesars Entertainment Operates Resorts
While VICI Properties owns the physical real estate assets, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the resorts and casinos. This includes managing hotel accommodations, gaming facilities, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other amenities.
Caesars Entertainment Operating Company is also in charge of marketing, promotions, and customer service to ensure guests have an exceptional experience during their stay.
Despite the separation of the companies, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company and VICI Properties maintain a close partnership to ensure the smooth operation of the resorts and casinos. This unique structure allows both entities to focus on their respective areas of expertise while working together to provide a world-class hospitality and entertainment experience.
For more information about Caesars Entertainment Corporation and its properties, you can visit their official website https://www.caesars.com.
For over 50 years, Caesars Palace has welcomed guests to its expansive Roman-themed halls. The resort has passed through various ownership changes from its original founders to large gaming companies like Hilton, Harrah’s, and Caesars Entertainment.
Today, the majority ownership of Caesars Palace is held by real estate investment trust VICI Properties. But day-to-day operations are still run by Caesars Entertainment, allowing guests to continue to enjoy the Caesars experience.