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PARIS LAS VEGAS

Location:

What's There Now:

Opened:

Closed:

Center Strip

3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

Paris Las Vegas

1999

Still In Operation

TIMELINE

1999

Paris Las Vegas opens on September 1, 1999

2005

Hotel purchased by Harrah's Entertainment

2010

Harrah's Entertainment rebrands itself as Caesars Entertainment

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HISTORY

Paris Las Vegas was not the city's first French-themed hotel-casino; that title would probably go to the short-lived Moulin Rouge. But that hotel's colorful murals and Can-Can dancers would pale in comparison to the faithful recreations of Parisian landmarks and French countryside vistas that were created at the tail end of the theme-hotel craze.

The land where Paris now stands was first developed in the late 1950s or the early 1960s when The Galaxy motel was built there, part of a mini-Strip of motor inns that included The 3 Coins and The Bonanza. These small properties were designed mostly to capitalize on traffic heading toward the big resorts like The Dunes across the street.

The motel was torn down in the late 1960s to make way for a strip mall that opened around 1970. It had a few stores and a small casino called Little Caesar's (no relation to the pizza place or Caesars Palace).

In 1997 Park Place Entertainment, which operated neighboring Bally's and Caesars Palace, bought the land and announced plans to build Paris Las Vegas. The official groundbreaking happened on April 17th of that year.

It took more than two years to build and cost $785 million. When it opened on September 1, 1999 it had 3,000 rooms, an 85,000 square-foot casino, and a showroom featuring a musical version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." The French theme was so complete that it extended far beyond the 540-foot, half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and recreation of the Arc de Triomphe, all the way to the signage, which read things like "Le Car Rental." Employees were even instructed to greet guests with "Bonjour!"

With the exception of the new Aladdin, which opened the following year, Paris Las Vegas was last of the heavily themed casinos that included places like Luxor, New York-New York, and The Venetian.

The hotel had a brief PR nightmare in 2003 when France formally protested the US-Iraq war and anything even remotely French came under fire from conservative factions. Does anyone remember "Freedom Fries?" Right, so imagine an entire hotel with a French theme. There were calls to de-Paris the property but in the end they made due by replacing most of the France flags that flew in various places around the property with US flags and the controversy eventually waned.

Park Place Entertainment was purchased by Harrah's Entertainment in 2005, making Paris a sister to hotels like Harrah's and The Rio. That company changed its name to Caesars Entertainment in 2010.

Although there had been rumors that the hotel would pull back on its French theme, much like Luxor has removed much of its original Egypt look and feel, not much has changed at Paris Las Vegas since it opened other than the lineup of restaurants and entertainment offerings. Sugar Factory restaurant and Chateau nightclub were added in 2011 and the Gordon Ramsay steakhouse came online in 2012. Several shows have been in residence including a headlining gig from Barry Manilow, the Queen musical "We Will Rock You," and the Broadway hits "The Producers" and "Jersey Boys."

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