Iconic Harrah’s Las Vegas Prepares for the Opening of CAESARS FORUM

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Iconic Harrah’s Las Vegas Prepares for the Opening of CAESARS FORUM

By Rowland Stiteler | Jan 9, 2019

Harrah’s Las Vegas has completed a US$140 million transformation—which includes 1,622 modern new guest rooms and suites in its Valley Tower—in anticipation of the 2020 opening of CAESARS FORUM, a 550,000-square-foot conference center.

The new incarnation of this longtime Las Vegas landmark pairs seven-day-a-week free, live entertainment with a new lobby bar and more to come. The new look comes as Harrah's celebrates 80 years.

This latest redesign follows the renovation of 672 guest rooms and suites on the south side of the tower in 2016, resulting in a completely refreshed Valley Tower at the beloved Caesars Entertainment resort. By 2020, all 2,540 rooms will be completed to welcome conference attendees. The easily accessible property is in the center of the Las Vegas Strip and steps away from key Las Vegas attractions, and is also a stop on the Las Vegas Monorail line. Also in 2020, it will be connected via skybridge to CAESARS FORUM, a game changer for this iconic property.

“Harrah’s is one of the most recognized gaming brands in the country and Harrah’s Las Vegas offers great value in the heart of the Strip,” says Dan Walsh, general manager of Harrah’s Las Vegas. “The renovated Valley Tower combined with a wide variety of entertainment and distinct dining options further elevate the guest experience.”

The new lobby bar, which is on the ground floor of the Valley Tower, was designed to be a focal point and a key facility for groups—a great place for people to meet and interact, according to Walsh.

“The lobby bar was designed to serve as a central gathering place for customers while they check in or after they leave their room and head downstairs to meet up with their guests,” he says. “The bar also has a neon-lit replica image of the iconic ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign where many guests stop for group pictures. In addition, the bar is adjacent to a Starbucks and serves as a morning gathering space with Wi-Fi connectivity, work counters and charging stations.”

Designed by Marnell Architecture, the stylish interiors of the reimagined Valley Tower guest rooms offer sophisticated décor with warm tones of gray and purple accents. Bold, purple fabric and blue sitting chairs complement the room’s cream décor, dark wood accents and contemporary fixtures. Oversized vanities offer backlit mirrors and bars, while suites feature ceramic dark plank tile.

 The guest room and suite design highlights include the following.

  • Valley Tower Room: Each tower room features one king or two queen beds with luxury bedding, a vanity with a backlit mirror and an electronic device docking station. Additional amenities include a bathroom vanity and rain shower.

  • Valley Executive Suite: The new suite measures 680 square feet and offers a separate bedroom with one king bed, dining area and living room. The luxurious bathrooms feature ceramic dark plank tile, a vanity, a makeup mirror, a rain shower and a large tub.

  • Valley Presidential Suite: Measuring 1,700 square feet, the new suite includes an open living space and high-end bathroom features like a walk-in rain shower, creating a spa-like experience for guests. This suite comes with the option of adding a connecting room with one king bed.

  • Valley Penthouse: The new penthouse measures more than 2,000 square feet. The spacious living area features a double-sided ottoman and a full-size bar. Pops of teal and purple combined with metallic accents give the suite a stylish kick. Other features include a game table and back-to-back bathroom sinks separated by a two-way mirror.

As part of Caesars Entertainment’s Code Green initiative, which aims to reduce landfill waste by 50 percent by 2020, much of the furniture from the renovated guest rooms and suites was donated to charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity in Las Vegas.

Walsh says the guest room renovation also brought other opportunities to facilitate Code Green.

“For example, we removed bath tubs in the renovated rooms and replaced the tubs with showers and we installed low-flow shower heads and new faucets and toilets,” he says. “We also installed soap and shampoo dispensers, which reduces waste, and added LED lighting to the rooms and hallways. In addition, we have a housekeeping ‘opt out’ program that is very popular with our guests. We allow the customer to receive a food and beverage credit per stay if they opt out of housekeeping services to reduce linen usage, which reduces water consumption.”

The distinctive new look of the guest rooms and suites is part of the Valley Tower’s appeal.

“Guests love the light colors used throughout the hallways and guest rooms,” says John Aveiro, vice president of hotel operations at Harrah’s. “These rooms offer guests an elevated comfort level in a contemporary, modernized design. Guests often tell us how much they appreciate the lighting used in these rooms as well as how comfortable the bed is. We are excited to complete the room renovation project in 2019. All 2,540 rooms and suites will be fully renovated.”

In conjunction with the new renovation, Harrah’s has upped its game for entertainment that appeals to a wide-ranging audience, Walsh says.

“We have a wide range of entertainment offerings to meet different customer demographics and the live entertainment venues are great spaces to hold meetings,” he says.

Harrah’s Las Vegas offers live entertainment, seven days a week at a number of venues. Toby Keith’s “I Love this Bar & Grill” features live country music acts hand-picked by Toby Keith, played nightly. Carnaval Court, on the Las Vegas Strip is an open-air street party with music from live bands and DJs played day and night, perfect for a buy-out. The Piano Bar, which debuted a new patio last spring, offers 12 hours of live, interactive shows daily. Entertainment includes Big Elvis, The Saxmen Duo, Rusty’s All Star Karaoke and the Dueling Piano Twins.

Ticketed shows include performances such as The Righteous Brothers, The Tenors of Rock, Menopause the Musical, Mac King and the Comedy Lineup (featuring Tom Green and John Caparulo). Harrah’s also opened the “House of Tape” in 2018 featuring America’s Got Talent finalist “Tapeface,” and the show has been a huge success, Walsh says.

Reina Herschdorfer, director of marketing for national meetings and events for Caesars Entertainment, says the strong history of delivering great customer service at Harrah’s Las Vegas is undergoing an evolution in anticipation of the opening of CAESARS FORUM in 2020.

“As the customer base moves from leisure guests to conference attendees, the expectations change,” she says. “We saw this at Harrah’s Atlantic City, where we opened the Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in 2015. Since their opening, all the rooms have been redesigned and the restaurant offering has changed, with many more upscale celebrity restaurants, a new business center, a refreshed Pool After Dark and much more. It is an organic transformation as the property anticipates and adapts to the conference attendee who has different expectations from someone who is staying just for fun.”

Herschdorfer says up to 90 percent of Harrah’s Las Vegas rooms will be available for conferences and events. With CAESARS FORUM opening, this will not be uncommon.

“This provides huge opportunities for personalized service and branding for the organization holding their conference at Harrah’s,” she says. “It will not be unusual to see the porte cochere wrapped in the organization’s colors or logos, elevators wrapped, dedicated TV channels, branded room keys, branded refreshments, hotel staff in branded attire and so on. The Harrah’s room product is already being well received with its airy modern design. Next will be the lobby, followed by the porte cochere, restaurants and bars. It’s an exciting time for us.”

Veronica Golin, vice president, brand and customer experience at Caesars Entertainment, says an element of Harrah’s appeal is the grand tradition of the Harrah’s brand.

“The Harrah’s story began more than 80 years ago in Reno, Nevada. Today, Harrah’s has grown into a well-known and well-loved brand with deep roots in both gaming and hospitality, and an expansive footprint across the country,” she says. “When I think about the success and longevity of the Harrah’s brand, I really think it all comes back to customer-centricity and brand personality. Passionate customer service and attention to detail have always been signatures of the Harrah’s brand experience—Bill Harrah, the founder, insisted on robust service standards from the beginning, and the customer-centric mindset began there. And then the next logical step for the Harrah’s brand was to deepen its knowledge of its customers, because truly exceptional service is almost always personalized. Another way in which the Harrah’s brand has differentiated itself is through its analytical and rigorous approach to understanding individual customers and their wants and needs. That translates into an authentically welcoming and inviting experience.”



Rowland Stiteler
Rowland Stiteler

Rowland Stiteler, a veteran meeting industry journalist, is a writer and editor for The Meeting Professional.