Like the majority of themed casinos in Las Vegas, the Harrah’s property known as “Caesar’s Palace” is one of the most elegant, extravagant, and beautiful buildings on the planet. This is a place that offers around the clock gambling of all kinds, fine restaurants, shows, and all of the other attractions that a person might find in a top-notch Las Vegas casino. It shares another important similarity with these casinos, as well. Caesar’s Palace is one of the many casinos in Las Vegas that draw in customers using a theme. For the Luxor Hotel and Casino, the theme is old school Egypt. For the Venetian and the Bellagio, extravagance is mixed with Italian flair. For the New York, New York Hotel and Casino the theme is obviously New York City. Caesar’s Palace, however, is designed as a place where the great Caesar himself would come if he had the urge to play the ponies. Everything about the property, from the outside design to the rooms to the casino floor is designed in a way that people are enticed to come visit the wonderful property. The Roman theme is unique among Las Vegas Hotels, which makes this property a bit of a novelty item among both people who have been to Las Vegas and those who have not. Even the shopping area, known as the Forum Shops, is a shrine to Caesar. Though it might not seem obvious, the theme at this hotel is one of the primary reasons why people make their way into the resort and it is a huge factor in why they stay and play at Caesar’s Palace.
The goal of every casino is to get as many people as possible to play at their casino. After all, this is the bread and butter of the casino business. Without having those people playing at their tables, casinos would go out of business. Though many Las Vegas casinos get foot traffic on their casino floor, the main way that they bring people in is through the hotel section of the resort. The people who play at the casino are much more likely to play at the casino when they head down from their rooms. Caesar’s Palace made sure not to miss out on an opportunity to use their Roman Empire them when both designing the rooms in their resort and when naming them. Rod Davis of the Las Vegas Review Journal did some research on how many rooms the Caesar’s Palace has. According to his 2004 article, “When completed, the new 345-foot-tall luxury tower will bring the number of rooms at Caesars Palace to 3,349” (Davis). These rooms are all hosted in any one of five different towers at the hotel. As one might have guessed, these towers are Roman themed with names Augustus, Centurion, Roman, Palace, and Forum. Each of these uses a different method of prominently featuring the spirit of Julius Caesar. In a way, this is the hotel’s way of treating each and every patron at the hotel like a big deal. By putting them in rooms and in towers that have a Roman feel, they make the customers feel powerful. After all, the Roman way was made of power and strength. This is not only important in helping bring people to the hotel, but it is important in getting them to play. By psychologically giving their patrons a boost in self esteem, the resort is encouraging them to gamble. Once they feel as if they are empowered, the guests think that they have a much better chance of winning at the tables, according to one survey. The theme does not stop with the rooms, though. It is seen elsewhere in the resort, as well.
All of the top hotels and casinos in Las Vegas put their best foot forward in their gambling area. The rooms are obviously important because they set the reputation for the entire result, but most casinos would rather have a great looking casino floor over great looking rooms. After all, the casinos do not want their patrons to spend too much time in their rooms. It is when the people hit the tables that that the casino starts to get rich. Popular travel review site Frommar’s gave a great review of the Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino. They sum the hotel’s basic idea up perfectly when they write, “When Caesars was originally built to reflect Roman decadence, its designers probably had no idea how guffaw-inducing this would be some years later. It’s the level of kitsch all should aspire to: Roman colonnades, Roman pillars, gigantic faux-marble Roman statues, staff attired in gladiator outfits — it’s splendidly ridiculous. It’s what Vegas ought to be” (Frommar’s). This is exuded perfectly on the casino floor. When a person walks in, they are immersed in the Roman tradition. At the front of the resort stands a great statue to Caesar. The architecture does not stop there, though. It continues all throughout the casino floor in order to remind people that they are in the presence of pure Las Vegas extravagance. After all, this was the first mission of the folks who designed the resort. There is a Roman statue waiting at almost every corner. A gambler cannot head from one blackjack table to another without either seeing this or seeing a painting. This is done so that people will engage in something a false sense of reality. In Las Vegas, players can be whatever they want to be. In their home towns, they might have been no name accountants. They might have been writers or business men. They might have just been husbands and dads. When that person comes to the Caesar’s Palace, they feel as if they have taken a step back into Ancient Rome. This false sense of reality is designed to make people do things that they normally would not do. Back at home, the tight accountant would not spend $500 at a blackjack table. When he steps into Ancient Rome, though, he can spend that and much more without ever feeling like he has done anything out of the ordinary. The atmosphere itself is very difficult to resist. Even if a person does not go with the intention of gambling, it is hard not to get caught up in the entire ambiance. That is what the theme is designed to do. It is designed to have a shock and awe effect at first and after that, the player is supposed to forget about all of his preconceived notions. The Roman theme is blended perfectly with plenty of other things, though. The theme alone is not enough to convince players to play at the tables. It takes a cooperative effort of design, staff, theme, and layout to make things possible.
The casino design itself plays a very important role in bringing people into the gambling atmosphere. As mentioned before, everything about Caesar’s Palace screams extravagance. The first example dealt with the architecture and the Roman theme. This time, the correlation can be drawn to the design of the casino floor. The ceilings are built very high and the actual painting itself is beautiful. The tables are outfitted with the finest felt and the chairs are comfortable. This is something that lots of Las Vegas casinos have picked up on in the last few years. Themes are nice for getting people into the hotel, but in order to keep them there, something more has to be offered. Las Vegas visitors have made it known that the one thing that they want the most is luxury. If they are going to be losing money in the casino, then they want to make sure that they are doing it in the nicest place possible. This is another reason why people often stay and play longer than they normally would. After all, they are sitting at some of the most expensive tables in the world and they are completely surrounded by a life of luxury that they normally would not have known.
Another very important feature of the design itself is the size. No casino or hotel wants to outdo itself and many of them are concerned about doing too much. Many casinos feel that bigger is not always better. Caesar’s Palace is not one of those casinos. This is especially true of the poker room at Caesar’s Palace. Currently, it is the biggest poker room in the entire city, which is quite a feat considering the competition that Las Vegas provides in this arena. According to Vegas.com, “In a private enclave off of the casino floor is Las Vegas’ largest poker room, measuring 14,000 square feet. Host to NBC’s “Heads Up” Poker tournament, Caesars’ non-smoking room includes 29 live tables in the main area along with an adjacent tournament room” (Vegas.com). For this casino, bigger is better. Everything in Rome was built that way, as well. Even if it might not have been the most practical thing, the Romans always built their stuff so that it would overpower their competitors. One great example of this is the Coliseum in Rome. That is one of the largest structures known to man. The casino floor at Caesar’s Palace is like a modern day Coliseum, where gladiators try to take down the house. More times than not, they are not successful in this venture, though. The large design is significant because it makes it difficult to leave. This teams up with the layout, which will be discussed later in the paper. The pure size is both a spectacle to see and a sight to behold. The practical aspect of this is that there are more tables in Caesar’s than in most casinos. While some casinos might see their tables fill up on busy nights, there is usually a place to play at Caesar’s. This helps promote more return traffic and really helps enhance the over the top theme that the casino has been looking to push. Another important aspect of the design is the layout, though. A big casino by itself would not be anything to remark about. Coupled with a smart design, the casino becomes a trap for gamblers.
The layout at Caesar’s Palace is similar to what you might find at many other large hotels in Las Vegas. The folks who built the casino put their best foot forward when building it, meaning that they put the nicest structures in the front, where people could see them by walking by. Another interesting part of the layout of Caesar’s Palace is where they place the tables and machines. Right in the front of the casino, there are hundreds of slot machines with bells, whistles, sounds, and all of the other trappings of Las Vegas. As soon as a person walks in, they are immediately hooked by this and pretty much any person with a pulse will be drawn to such distractions. It is rumored that Caesar’s Palace puts its highest paying slot machines in the front of the casino, so that people can see other people winning money. Even if this was true, no casino would admit this, though.
One of the aspects of the layout that many people fail to pick up on is that the casino is something of a maze. It is very easy to get into the casino floor – all you have to do is walk by through the slot machines and head to the tables. Once you are in, there are many twists and turns, though. Everything is in a different spot. For the poker players out there, the large, inviting aforementioned poker room is in one corner of the casino, hidden away from all of the other things. Not far from that, around another corner, sports gamblers congregate to place their bets on all of the games in the Caesar’s Palace Sportsbook. If you want to play blackjack, you will have to head to another part of the casino. If baccarat is your game, that is hidden in another room. All of this was not done by accident. In fact, it is a highly developed plan to keep people in the casino as long as possible. Often times, the elevator doors are hidden away in a corner where they cannot be seen from the playing area. This is done so that players will not see the doors and think about wanting to quit playing. All of this plays to the psychological makeup of most gamblers. Making it difficult to find your way out will only add another reason why a gambler will sit down and play one more hand. This is another reason why a person will make another trip to the ATM to get more money. This means that the casino has more of an opportunity to get money back from players who have won and it also has an opportunity to make a dent on players who have already been losing. The important thing to remember about casinos is that they are fun. They are a place where people, regardless of winning or losing, are having a good time. This effect does not happen by accident, though. All of the things that casino owners do to promote this come together in the end to create the desired effect that casinos are looking for. All of the great design in the world would not help a casino that did not have good people, though. People are what drive the atmosphere and keep people coming back to the enticing tables.
There are many different people that combine to create the atmosphere in casinos. At Caesar’s Palace, they use a combination of dealers, casino floor personnel, and entertainers to create this effect. The first and most important people are the dealers. Some people rate dealers on their personality, while others like to rate them on their ability to keep the games going. At Caesar’s Palace, they hire people who can do both of these things, and do them well. It is a casino that is known to have some of the best people in the business, even more so than casinos like the Wynn, the Bellagio, and the Venetian. Whether it is blackjack, poker, roulette, or any other game, the dealers know the games and they understand how to deal. Most players remark that the dealers are very friendly, as well. As if gamblers needed another excuse to visit the casino, they can now come to see the dealers themselves. This is a very underrated aspect of the overall casino atmosphere, but it is something that Caesar’s Palace takes very seriously.
The dealers are helped out a lot by cocktail waitresses, who keep the booze flowing for players at the various tables. When players are actively participating in a game at a table in Caesar’s Palace, they receive free drinks. Players do not have to wait more than twenty minutes to receive their drink. Most of the time, they will have a full drink sitting in front of them. The fun loving atmosphere of the casino was mentioned earlier, and this is one of the reasons why that atmosphere exists. People can get a little bit drunk with their friends and do it for free. Even though they might be losing money at the tables, they are content because of the “free” drinks that they are receiving. The service is one part of this, but the alcohol itself is another part. Some casinos might be cheap on their liquor, but Caesar’s Palace does not have a problem providing the best liquor available. When a player requests a top-shelf drink, there is usually not a problem. Casinos have a great deal of incentive to keep their players drinking. Alcohol impairs judgment, which can be a huge factor when it comes to gambling. When players cannot make the correct decisions on a game, they are more likely to lose. When players get drunk, they feel as if they can take on the world and take on the casino. This is when players can really get in trouble and lose a lot of money. Overall, alcohol is one of the reasons why some people come to the casino to play and it is very important to enhancing the enticement of playing at a selected casino.
On top of that, there are what some might consider mascots of the resort. If guests are really lucky, they can get a picture with Julius Caesar himself or even Cleopatra. These two characters roam freely through the resort and are always available to greet the guests. This is just one more way that the casino brings people in and creates the atmosphere that will lead people to more gambling. It is the type of alternate reality that people love in Las Vegas and has been a very successful marketing tactic for this particular resort.
Caesar’s Palace is one of the many places that have two interesting features within the casino. For one, they do not have any clocks in the casino and they pump fresh air through the vents. Because the lights are always on in the casino and they are always on in Las Vegas, players can sometimes lose track of time and play until the wee hours of the morning. For Caesar’s Palace, the longer the player plays, the better off they are. If he or she does not know what time it is, then they are more likely to play longer, according to the casino’s line of thinking. The fresh air is another component to this. It helps to keep the players feeling awake and fresh. Just when they think they might be getting tired, players often catch a second wind with this fresh air. By keeping them awake and alert for longer, the casino has a better opportunity of getting players to stay and play on their casino floor. These are two interesting elements of Caesar’s Palace that many visitors fail to notice, even though they should be glaringly obvious.
The important thing to remember is that no one of these factors in themselves is enough to make Caesar’s Palace one of the premier places to play in Las Vegas. It is a very carefully crafted equilibrium that must be maintained if the casino wants to continue bringing people in. Though people certainly appreciate the nice theme, they will only play at the casino once if they service is bad. Even though it may be difficult to find one’s way out of the casino, a person will certainly do it if they feel like they are not getting enough bang for their buck. In addition, even the most extravagant and nice casino floor will struggle if it does not have the other things to make it a top notch resort. For Caesar’s Palace, this means providing some of the nicest rooms in all of Las Vegas and even more than that, providing some of the best looking luxury suites on the entire strip. This sentiment has been echoed by LasVegasTourism.com who writes, “Caesars Palace rooms are so lavish that guests might actually want to spend time in them. This expansive property with a kitschy yet sumptuous Roman theme has continued to expand and upgrade. A variety of fancy suites are also offered, some with parlors, wet bars, and marble rotunda entryways” (LasVegasTourism.com). The total package is ultimately what draws people from all walks of life, which is something that Caesar’s Palace craves. They have the type of design, layout, and atmosphere that can bring people into the casino and keep them there. Those wanted to be treated like a king will find that it happens in the resort, while those looking to indulge in a little fantasy will also find that easy. This is the true essence of Las Vegas and it something that Caesar’s Palace does beautifully.
Las Vegas Tourism Bureau. Caesars Palace. http://www.lasvegastourism.com/caesars_palace.htm
Smith, Rod. The $289 million 949-room Augustus Tower Will Boost Caesar Palace’s Room Count to 3,349; Part of a Refurbishing Plan for the 37-year-old Megaresort. Las Vegas Review-Journal. 27 October 2004.
Frommer’s Travel Reviews. Caesars Palace. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/lasvegas/H24965.html
Vegas.com. Caesars Palace. http://www.vegas.com/resorts/caesars/