Palms in Las Vegas transforming image with $620M renovation

You thought you only found card sharks in casinos.

Don’t be alarmed when you’re confronted with a 13-foot tiger shark prominently displayed at the Unknown, the Palms’ new center bar that opened Thursday night.

The shark, encased in three pieces in steel and glass cases filled with formaldehyde, is a triptych art piece by Damien Hirst who was at the property for the unveiling and the opening of the bar that he designed.

It’s one of dozens of art pieces scattered throughout the hotel and casino — some of them commissioned, and some of them on loan from the personal collections of Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta.

Displaying art in a casino isn’t a new concept. MGM Resorts International has placed art throughout its National Harbor property in suburban Washington D.C. and Steve Wynn has done it in his resorts, most notably Wynn Palace in Macau.

“We think it makes sense because the gaming industry and the entertainment industry is fun and it creates an energy, it creates an emotional response,” said Jon Gray, general manager of the Palms. “That’s what art is supposed to do as well. To me, they’re intertwined.”

It’s all part of the strategy to return the Palms to its glory days of when it first opened by the Maloof family in the early 2000s. The Fertittas were minority investors back then. Now, almost exactly two years to the date from when Station Casinos acquired the Palms for $312.5 million, the public is getting its first look at the first phase of transformation resulting from a $620 million property-wide renovation.

Gray explained that the transition is still a work in progress with even more changes coming through the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2019.

Station is attempting to market the Palms as a hybrid property — an off-Strip resort catering to out-of-town visitors as well as a locals hangout where Las Vegans can mix with the occasional VIP.

“Our local slot customers wanted to be where the cool kids were,” said Gray, who worked for the Maloofs when the Palms opened. “They loved rocking their Palms T-shirts and made them feel cool in front of their grandkids. That was something we captured really well in the past and I think we’ve captured that again with the partnerships we’ve brought in.”

The Palms is designed with that in mind. Two floors are being added to a parking garage on the west side of the property where there’s easy access to the promotions desk, the upgraded 14-screen Branden movie theaters and the property’s A.Y.C.E. Buffet that opened in December.

Over the next year, crews will continue to work on more amenities.

Four restaurants are on the horizon with celebrity chefs Marc Vetri, Michael Symon and Bobby Flay doing the planning. The Tao Group will bring in its Vandal restaurant from New York.

Gray said the Palms’ dayclub pool parties by Tao would go year-round beginning next spring with the addition of a climate-controlled enclosure for the city’s largest pool venue. Tao also is adding a 29,000-square-foot nightclub.

Work also is scheduled to begin on renovations of rooms and suites in the Fantasy Tower, including the six famed Sky Villas.

Station launched a largely social media-driven national marketing campaign, “From dust to gold,” to call attention to the property’s changes.

Gray figures the national drive is also going to get the attention of locals.

“It’s going to drive that great national buzz as well as bring in the locals for all the reasons — convenience, value and free parking — we want to be known for,” he said.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like