Attention mapmakers and trivia buffs! This year has brought a metamorphosis to a handful of resorts in Las Vegas. At least five properties have gotten – or are in the process of getting – new names. Many of these moniker conversions result from new ownership, and several will also include renovation projects to modernize rooms and facilities.
The rebranding of hotels is not new to the city. In 2007, the Aladdin Hotel & Casino became the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, and the Barbary Coast was transformed into Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. Do you remember when the Hotel San Remo morphed into Hooters Casino Hotel? That was in 2004. And in 2003, the Maxim Hotel & Casino was acquired by the group that owns The Westin name.
So, as 2012 comes to a close, here are five names to bid adieu – or rather, five new names sure to have a bright future in Vegas!
1) Las Vegas Hilton became the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino on Jan. 3, 2012.
Interestingly, this property has had three incarnations. It originally opened in 1969 as the International Hotel. Three years later, in 1972, it joined the Hilton family of resorts. After 40 years as the Las Vegas Hilton – and playing host to a slew of legendary entertainers ranging from Elvis and Liberace to Barry Manilow – the franchise license expired. By mutual agreement, the property changed its name to LVH.
2) Fitzgeralds became The D Las Vegas on March 13, 2012.
Ironically, just before St. Patrick’s Day, Fitzgeralds began shedding its shamrocks as part of a conversion into the trendier D Las Vegas. The property was purchased last year by two brothers, Derek and Greg Stevens, who have roots in Detroit . Thus, the “D” alludes to that city as well as to the property’s location in downtown Las Vegas…and it’s also Derek’s nickname. For nearly a year, renovations – including a complete overhaul of the 638 rooms and the construction of the Longbar and the outdoor D Bar – have been steadily transforming the resort. A week-long celebration to officially unveil The D Las Vegas is scheduled to begin on Oct. 10, 2012.
3) Imperial Palace will become The Quad Resort & Casino on Dec. 21, 2012.
Just last week, Caesars Entertainment announced that the Imperial Palace, which has been part of the Las Vegas Strip since 1979 (even longer if you remember that it initially opened as the Flamingo Capri in 1959!), is to be renamed The Quad Resort & Casino at the end of this year. The new name is meant to suggest a “gathering place” and “connectivity” because the resort, situated near the corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, is in the heart of the action. Interior and exterior renovations are currently underway at the Imperial Palace. Scheduled to conclude by late 2013, they will encompass an improved façade and port cochère as well as a fresh look on the casino floor and in the retail and dining areas. A new front desk and bell desk have already been unveiled.
4) THEhotel at Mandalay Bay will become the Delano Las Vegas in 2013.
In August, MGM Resorts International announced a partnership with Morgans Hotel Group along with plans to revamp THEhotel at Mandalay Bay into the Delano Las Vegas. By 2013, all of THEhotel’s 1,100 suites will be redesigned. The resort’s bars, lounge, spa and restaurants will also be transformed to evoke the personality of the hip hotel operator, renowned for its uber-cool design philosophy. The Delano Las Vegas will be the second Delano location in the United States (the first one is in Florida) and the third in the world (the Delano Marrakech just opened in Morocco).
5) Sahara Hotel & Casino will become the SLS Las Vegas when it debuts in 2014.
The Sahara Hotel & Casino, which had been a fixture on the Strip since 1952, shut its doors on May 16, 2011. Once home to entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, it was also an iconic Las Vegas resort. The Sahara is now owned by the hospitality and entertainment company SBE, whose CEO is Sam Nazarian. Although plans are still sketchy, $300 million in funding has been tapped to redevelop the property, and the intent is to reopen it in 2014 under the name SLS Las Vegas.