All hail, Caesars Palace: The iconic Las Vegas hotel celebrates its 50th anniversary

Half a century. Five decades. And about 18,250 days. No matter how you look at it, 50 years is a really long time. And in Vegas, celebrating 50 years is a monumental event. This August 5th, Caesars Palace turns the big 5-0 and trust us — it’s a huge deal.

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Why hello, ladies. Caesars Palace in 1966 and 2016. Photos courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau and Erik Kabik.

When you think of Caesars Palace, big names come to mind. Elton John. Evel Knievel. Cher. Muhammed Ali. Celine Dion. Mariah Carey. Those are just a few of the icons who have made history at Caesars Palace. Then we get into blockbuster hits like “Rainman,” “Dreamgirls,” “The Hangover,” “The Hangover III” and “Southpaw.” Trust us — there are way more than that. And finally, you’ve got all the celebrity chef-owned restaurants like Mr. Chow, Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill, Guy Savoy, Nobu and Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill to drool over.

But enough with the name dropping. Caesars Palace on its own is simply marvelous. Besides having some of the swankiest suites and villas in the city (as well as the new Julius Tower), there’s the five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis that makes other swimming destinations look like mere puddles. Oh — and how can we forget to mention Omnia nightclub, which comes complete with a stellar rooftop area and performances by the world’s most famous DJs? Not to mention, its center-Strip location makes it super easy to visit and experience.

Like Caesars Palace always does, it’s going big with its upcoming 50th birthday bash. And you can be a part of history. If you’re here during the summer, you’re in luck: Beginning June 17th, you can take a self-guided, historical walking tour through the property. You’ll find a photo exhibit that includes now-and-then snapshots and displays, iconic moments in Vegas entertainment and sports, popular movie locations, special landmarks and the “Five Lucky Spots.” You have to take the tour to find out what those are. The walking tour is free and open to the public.

While you’re here, you can also take a picture with a Roman chariot that’s been refurbished from the hotel’s historical archive. Let’s ooh and ahh right now.

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Jerry Wald, Nate Jacobson and Jay Sarno at the future site of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, circa April 9, 1965. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.

A walking tour is great, but how amazing would it be to take something back with you? You can buy things like clothing, luggage tags, magnets, pins, key chains, money clips, glassware and even a commemorative 50th anniversary snow globe.

If you’re here during July 4th weekend,  you’ll catch an elaborate fireworks display and live music on Sunday, July 3. During the actual anniversary weekend (Aug. 5-6), there will be a series of events like a cake and champagne toast and an exclusive gala for invited guests.

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The world’s greatest. Muhammed Ali, photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.

“Unlike other famed Strip properties that have now been torn down and swept away, Caesars Palace is more relevant than ever,” said Mark P. Frissora, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment. “With our portfolio of entertainment superstars and celebrity chefs, the recent room enhancements and new restaurant offerings, Caesars Palace is well poised for the next fifty years. We are excited to show our gratitude and share our 50th anniversary celebration with our guests, partners, employees and community.”

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Evel Knievel in the middle of his death defying stunt in 1966. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.

Within the past year, Caesars Palace invested $1 billion into the property and recently opened the new Julius Tower (a revamp of the hotel’s original Roman Tower). The property also launched Omnia Nightclub, Montecristo Cigar Bar and Mr. Chow, a fine Chinese cuisine restaurant. Additionally, guests and locals alike have the chance to see musical greats like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn as well as long-standing legendary residents Elton John, Rod Stewart and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

And now (insert drumroll), we bring you our crazy fun fact of the day: Caesars Palace has five employees who have been there since day one — Aug. 5, 1966. That’s what we call dedication. In celebration of their shared anniversary, this group had the opportunity to enjoy Celine Dion’s show and had a VIP meet and greet with the icon.

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How can you resist a drink from any of these dashing ladies? Cocktail waitresses at Caesars Palace, circa 1966. Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.

Since we’re so crazy about trivia, here’s a quick look at some numbers:

  • 85: Number of acres of the world-famous resort
  • 130,000: Number of square feet of casino space
  • 5: Number of acres of the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis (and also the total number of wedding chapels and gardens)
  • 75,000: Number of square feet of Omnia nightclub
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Caesars Palace today. Photo courtesy of Erik Kabik.

We’re getting all nostalgic and in our feelings over here. With the popular resort’s anniversary coming up, feel free to share with us your craziest and most memorable experience at this Las Vegas hotel.

Comments

Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.