Some Vegas Strip casinos to get new facades, familiar names

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FILE - An empty outdoor mall at Bally's Las Vegas along the Las Vegas Strip during the coronavirus pandemic on April 14, 2020. Some shuffling among owners has some Las Vegas Strip properties destined in coming months for rebranding, demolition, reconstruction, and the addition of familiar names. Caesars Entertainment plans to rename Bally's Las Vegas as the Horseshoe Las Vegas, drawing on a name made famous at a downtown gambling hall that was the original home of the World Series of Poker. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS – Some shuffling among owners could result in rebranding, demolition, reconstruction and the addition of familiar names at some of the Las Vegas Strip's most iconic properties.

Caesars Entertainment Inc., owner of the venerable Bally’s Las Vegas, announced this week that it plans to rename its heart-of-the-Strip towers the Horseshoe Las Vegas, drawing on a name made famous at a downtown gambling hall that was the original home of the World Series of Poker.

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A few blocks down Las Vegas Boulevard, the famed Tropicana Las Vegas could be demolished or renovated, according to the director of the company offering to buy out Rhode Island-based casino owner Bally’s Corp. Bally’s Corp. is buying the nearly 1,500-room resort — a Rat Pack-era attraction once known for its mob ties.

“We’re open to it all,” Soohyung Kim, founding partner of investment firm Standard General, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, including possibly leveling the tower and redeveloping the 35-acre Strip property to give Bally’s Corp. a glittery new Las Vegs Strip address.

“It’s hard to be a national gaming company without a presence in Las Vegas,” Kim told the newspaper.

At The Mirage Hotel & Casino, the landmark volcano that has spit fire since the hotel opened in 1989 is destined to be snuffed out once Hard Rock International acquires operations of the Polynesian-themed property in a cash deal with MGM Resorts International worth nearly $1.1 billion.

Hard Rock, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, plans to build a massive guitar-shaped hotel.

At the new Horseshoe, Caesars Entertainment said work will begin this spring to renovate and rename the 2,800-room Bally’s, which opened in late 1973 as the MGM Grand Hotel, and then move the World Series of Poker to the Strip for the first time.

The tournament began in 1970 at the Horseshoe Club, a downtown hotel founded by Texas gambler Benny Binion in 1951. It moved in 2005 to the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, where the pandemic-delayed 52nd version of the marquee event was held last November.

This year it will be at the Horseshoe and adjacent Paris Las Vegas from May 31 to July 19, Caesars said Wednesday in a statement.

“As we move WSOP to the Las Vegas Strip for the first time, that it will happen at Horseshoe makes it incredibly special,” said Ty Stewart, a Caesars senior vice president and tournament executive director.

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