The Quad, one of the center Strip’s landmark hotels, is more than halfway through a major renovation – one that is completely making over the property. Owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation and formerly known as the Imperial Palace, the hotel was officially renamed in December 2012. It’s been a hub of construction activity ever since, with most of the work expected to conclude by the end of 2013.
This rebranding at The Quad is being done in conjunction with the building of The Linq, a massive $550 million project also helmed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. An open-air, pedestrian-only district, it will be jam-packed with dining, entertainment and shopping opportunities and boast a 550-foot-tall observation wheel. Located along a corridor between The Quad and Flamingo resorts, The Linq (with the exception of the observation wheel) is also scheduled to debut by late 2013.
How are these two ambitious endeavors – both of which are destined to transform the look and experience of the Las Vegas Strip – going so far?
Things are in a constant state of change at The Quad. Right now, guests are welcomed at a temporarily moved registration desk in the back of the resort near the room elevators. Areas throughout the middle portion of the casino are either curtained or screened off.
Gone are most of the Asian-themed décor elements. They’ve been replaced with dark wood accents and cream-tinged wallpaper. The lighting is brighter throughout. Eye-catching tiles shimmer on the floor alongside colorful carpeting, which bears a “Q”-like design evoking The Quad’s logo as well as a sense of fun and energy.
That lively feeling runs rampant in the remodeled front portion of the casino, which was unveiled in early March. The hip new Catalyst Bar serves as a focal gathering spot, and rock music is pumped out of the overhead speakers. Plus, a variety of inexpensive and top-shelf liquors along with snacks and everyday items are on sale in The Quad Wine & Spirits, a stylish new convenience store.
The gaming floor is more spacious than before and contains the latest slot and video poker machines. The Quad’s Dealertainers, a group of celebrity lookalikes who belt out tunes on a raised stage in between dealing hands of blackjack, have settled into a groove in their new quarters. In addition, poker players will find spirited games and daily tournaments in the classy new five-table poker room.
Early in the year, a porte cochere was introduced at The Quad. Situated on the north side of the resort, it’s reachable through the parking garage via a circular driveway. Valet service is available beneath its metallic, geometrically shaped roof. Special lighting effects envelop the porte cochere as well, creating a distinctly modern vibe.
Dazzling new identity signage has also been installed on the Strip-facing side of the main tower and at the two entrances (i.e., on the north side adjacent to the porte cochere and on the south side across from Margaritaville at the Flamingo). A huge rooftop-oriented light attraction, dubbed “The Vortex,” is situated at The Quad’s south side entrance as well. This is a programmable LED installation that’s sure to be colorful and eye-popping at night.
The last phase of the renovation will herald the arrival of many new dining options including the first Las Vegas restaurant by Guy Fieri, the host of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Next door to The Quad, things are also on track and taking shape quickly at The Linq. Gated off from viewing, it’s difficult to comprehend how massive or multifaceted this development is.
The Linq begins where the Irish-themed O’Sheas Casino once stood on Las Vegas Boulevard. Marking the entrance is a recently erected, three-sided LED pylon. The sign is skinny but, at 130 feet tall, rises as high as the eye can see.
Although The Linq is likely to appeal most to those between the ages of 21 and 46, there will be something for everyone here. Resembling a high-energy street scene, more 300,000 square feet of space is being developed.
An impressive roster of tenants – some already well-known and others making their first foray into Vegas – has been signed, with more to be announced in the near future.
Brooklyn Bowl, for example, is a highly acclaimed entertainment establishment in New York. The Linq location will be their first location outside of Brooklyn. Although bowling initially comes to mind (and 32 lanes are on the drawing board), Brooklyn Bowl is touted as being one of the best places ever to take in a concert. In addition to a live music performance area with room for 2,000-plus guests, expect a vibrant bar and nightclub scene complemented by award-winning food from Blue Ribbon Restaurants.
Sprinkles Cupcakes, a bakery established in Beverly Hills that has amassed a cult following, will launch its first Vegas outlet from The Linq. Often credited for introducing the cupcake craze, Sprinkles will bring its adored 24-hour cupcake ATM here as well as test a brand new concept: artisanal ice cream flavors.
Another unique tenant at The Linq is F.A.M.E. (the letters stand for “Food,” “Art,” “Music” and “Entertainment”). In addition to great music, it will feature a culinary bazaar with the best offerings from Asian night markets. Imagine all the great street food from cities like Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and more gathered together in one place.
Along with the rock-influenced pizza concept Flour & Barley by Billy Richardson, the casual Chayo Mexicano eatery, the Italian-leaning Off the Strip bistro and a Tilted Kilt pub, The Linq will be home to the largest Yard House in the country. Showcasing a remarkable display of draft beer taps that will pull craft, imported and specialty ales and lagers, it will also possess a lovely balcony and patio.
Although skewed toward good food and fun, there will be a significant retail component at The Linq. Here are a few worthy names for your shopping list: Bella Scarpa, KOTO and Ruby Blue.
Without a doubt, the centerpiece of The Linq will be the observation wheel, known as the High Roller. The legs have been set up and the rim is taking shape. Sections of its circumference are being fitted individually – with two in now – until they crest at the top.
Upon completion, the High Roller will have 28 cabins designed as transparent spheres. Each one will provide spectacular bird’s-eye views of the Strip and the greater Las Vegas valley. Traveling at one foot per second, a full rotation on the High Roller will take 30 minutes.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s renovation of The Quad and development of The Linq are designed to bring people right to the heart of the Strip to stay, play and party. While the size and scale of these projects are sure to make a big impression, it will be the all of details – from the eye-catching LED lights and round-the-clock entertainment to the endless culinary delights and an incomparable ride on the observation wheel – that will truly make the experience memorable.