Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Palazzo Christmas

The Palazzo is one of the newer resort/hotels in Las Vegas. That’s a hard sentence to write as almost everything in Vegas is new – anything that starts to get dusty gets blown up and replaced. City Center and the Cosmopolitan have been constructed since the Palazzo opened.

The Palazzo is owned by the Sands Corporation, which also owns the Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo/Convention Center in addition to other resorts in Macao, Singapore and other places across the US. Each property is set up as a separate company and run reasonably independently but reporting back up line. The Venetian, Palazzo and Sands Expo are all located together about mid strip, on the corner of Spring Valley and Las Vegas Boulevard. You can walk between them, but employees of one cannot participate in activities of the others. Combined the Venetian and the Palazzo hotels have over 7,000 rooms, making it the largest hotel in the world for number of rooms (oh, wait, just looked and a new hotel in Moscow has 300 more rooms, so it’s only second now). The Venetian in Macao is rated the largest hotel in the world based on square footage (almost 1,000,000 sq. meters). The Sands Expo is the second largest center in Las Vegas, at 110,000 sq. meters. I worked at the Expo for 2 ½ years and really liked being there.

Mr. Sheldon Adelson is the founder to the Sands Corporation, current CEO and largest stockholder, and because of his holdings is rated as the eight richest person in the world with a net worth of over $21,500,000,000 – that’s twenty one BILLION dollars (depending on stock prices). He is a long time Republican, and when President Bush came to Vegas he stayed at the Venetian (I did a write-up on that day, and how it took employees over an hour to get into the employee parking garage because of the security checks and car searches). Currently he is backing Newt Gingrich for president, he and his wife both donated $5,000,000 each to the super pac supporting Newt, with promises of another $100,000,000 if Newt gets the nomination. Mr. Adelson is also a devout Jew, and makes trips and donations to many organizations in Israel. When the Republican Caucus was held a few weeks ago it was on a Saturday, and the local Jewish organizations petitioned for a special evening caucus so that those that observe the Sabbath on Saturday would be able to participate. Supposedly Mr. Adelson was not involved in that request, but strangely enough the evening caucus was held at the Adelson Center and he and his wife attended.

I think the Palazzo is the prettiest property in Las Vegas. The lobby and entry is very impressive, and the waterfall area between the Palazzo and the Venetian is just magnificent. In addition to the large casinos there is a very big shopping center upstairs, and Venetian gondolas ply the canals up on the second floor between the shops in addition to being out in front of the building on the Strip. The Sands Expo has huge halls and the Venetian Meeting Tower has rather impressive ballrooms and smaller meeting rooms.

There are a lot of fancy restaurants and bars between the properties, with the Bouchon Restaurant being my favorite place for breakfast – I would highly recommend going there if you ever make it to Vegas. The Tao and Lavo nightclubs are very well attended and usually are written up for the movie stars and musicians that attend. The Canyon Ranch Spa on the second floor is rated as one of the best Spas in the world. Unlike other Strip resorts the Palazzo/Venetian/Sands complex fills all of the property area, so the swimming pools are located on the roof of the shopping area rather than down on ground level. There are a lot of pools scattered around, with a nice small one in the middle of the old Venetian tower and some really big ones in the main central area.

All rooms at the Palazzo and Venetian are considered suites, with separate sitting areas and very large bathrooms. We spent one Christmas Eve at the Venetian – usually the cheap rooms start at $179, prices going up if there are big conventions and on weekends, with a basic room rate around $500 on busy nights. There are larger suites and penthouse rooms as well if you are a high roller or big spender. But when traffic is slow the Venetian offers locals specials, and Christmas Eve filled the properties to only 10% of capacity, so it was a $79 night (plus the fortune we spent at the restaurants). Most nights the two hotels are usually over 90% capacity.

Gee, I sound like a commercial for that place, don’t I? (no, not getting paid unfortunately). Back to the Christmas photos. This is what the Palazzo lobby looked like back in December.

The central statue also was decorated.

And the other side of the lobby was celebrating Chanukah, I think it was the only place in the city with blue lights and a menorah.


stephen Hayes said...

I've said it before but you certainly live in an amazing place.

Discount Hotels said...

I must commend you on your excellent blog. I have not been to Las Vegas, its one of those places that I think about then dismiss (often in favor of more tropical locals, after all.. I am in Canada!). None the less when I read blogs such as yours or learn more about Las Vegas and realize it is not just about the gambling (the slot machines would give me a headache) I bump it up on my list a bit more. I want to thank you for sharing your home and community with us, and perhaps one day I shall get down there myself. Great blog enjoyed.