Located in the heart of the Strip, near the busy corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road, the Imperial Palace is rollicking and rumbustious. It’s undergoing a dramatic transformation too. Renovations to convert the resort into The Quad are scheduled for completion in the latter part of 2013. This rebranding is being done in conjunction with the construction of The Linq, a massive $550 million project by Caesars Entertainment (also the parent company of the Imperial Palace) that includes a retail and dining complex as well as the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. With changes ranging from a new name to a new entrance and a rejuvenated casino floor, there may be some confusion – along with lots of noise and dust – in the air. So here are the answers to seven frequently asked questions that will help you plan your visit to the Imperial Palace.
1.) What’s its name? Try not to get confused. Right now, the resort is the “Imperial Palace.” Rebranding was announced in mid September, but don’t expect to see all the new logos, signage and materials for “The Quad” up for at least another month. The date targeted for the official name change is Dec. 21. A part of the Strip since 1959, when it opened as the Flamingo Capri, the property became the Imperial Palace in 1979. As The Quad, it will continue to build upon a tradition of offering a high-energy, party-like atmosphere, tapping into the idea of a “quad” being a sociable gathering place. So expect to come here and make new friends. And don’t worry, all of the Imperial Palace’s best bits – things like the celebrity-impersonating Dealertainers, the irreverent drag show “Divas” starring Frank Marino and the wide-ranging classic car collection – aren’t going anywhere.
2.) How do you drive there? With major construction under way, there is no vehicular access to the Imperial Palace from Las Vegas Boulevard. If you’re coming from the Strip, you’ll have to go through Harrah’s entrance. Simply continue through the tunnel, make a right at the stop sign, and then make another immediate right to access the Imperial Palace’s valet service and self-parking garage. If you’re approaching the resort from McCarran International Airport or Flamingo and Spring Mountain roads, your best bet is to seek out Koval Lane, which runs parallel to the east end of the property. Look for the turnoff marked by signs announcing The Venetian and Harrah’s. Follow that road, which will curve around past Harrah’s garage to the access point for the Imperial Palace’s valet service and self-parking garage.
3.) How do you walk in from the Strip? A covered pedestrian passageway has been temporarily constructed along the former façade of the Imperial Palace. It takes up a lane of traffic, narrowing northbound Las Vegas Boulevard to just two lanes in the vicinity. With the front and both sides of the Imperial Palace gutted, this interim footpath stretches about 200 feet in either direction toward a newly built access point that heads into the resort. You’ll pass through white-painted partitions displaying posters of the resort’s dining, entertainment and gaming options before stepping directly onto the casino floor. A digital kiosk stands there providing details about the forthcoming Quad. You’ll also notice a lot of concealed space because a porte cochère is currently being erected on the south side of the property.
4.) Where do you go to check in? The registration, bell and concierge desks have all moved from their former location, which was only steps within the Imperial Palace’s Strip entrance (on the left side). Now you’ll find them toward the center of the casino floor – directly across from the popular Dealertainers pit. They have a sleek and more streamlined design. Plus, they are conveniently positioned by the box office and the escalators/elevators leading to the resort’s restaurants and showrooms.
5.) Where’s the poker room? It also used to sit just inside the Imperial Palace’s Strip entrance (but on the right). The six tables were recently packed up and moved to the resort’s third-floor race and sports book. You can get to the poker room via the aforementioned escalators and elevators located near the bell, registration and concierge desks.
6.) What bars are still open? The Geisha Bar was closed to make room for the new bell, registration and concierge desks, but you can still find lots of libations on the casino floor at the Sake Bar, the Ginza Bar and Fat Tuesday. Make tracks for the fifth-floor dining area, where you can sip on a cocktail in Nomiya Bar (next to Embers steakhouse) or on a fabulous margarita from the Mexican restaurant Quesadilla. In addition, the bar in the race and sports book now boasts one of the city’s best happy hours. It runs daily (for a whopping 10 hours!) from 2 p.m. to midnight. You can get premium drinks made with name-brand spirits, like SKYY Vodka and Jim Beam bourbon, for only $2.50
7.) Are free slot tournaments still held there? Yes, but the location has moved. The bank of machines used for this promotion had originally been set up in a nook on the casino floor across from Fat Tuesday and near the elevator to Hash House A Go Go. Now you’ll find it on the third floor by the showrooms and the race and sports book. Anyone who signs up for a Total Rewards players card (which is free and easy to do) is welcome to participate. The free slot tournaments are held every Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’re worth entering, as you could win up to $1,500 in free slot play!
Of course, more changes are expected to be announced in coming months – but, for the time being, this should get you into and around the Imperial Palace…as well as primed and ready for the unveiling of The Quad!