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By Steve Bittenbender
June 12, 2021

Harrah's Unveils $200 Million Renovation to 'Flagship' Las Vegas Strip Resort


An internationally renowned architecture firm recognized by local and national publications, Marnell Companies was founded in 1982 and is known for handling planning, design, construction, development, and consulting. Still run by Tony A. Marnell—one of Sin City’s most legendary Strip architects, the firm has been honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of NEWH for extraordinary design achievements that include awards for the best hotel, best lobby, best suite, and best lounge bar. Such honors can only be achieved with a skilled team of craftsmen and the guidance of Tony A. Marnell. After earning a bachelor’s from the University of Southern California, Marnell spent two years in graduate school studying with legendary architect Professor Alfred Caldwell. The training paid off big: Marnell went on to design and build such Vegas landmarks as the Rio Hotel in 1998 and the Bellagio and became the architect of record for Wynn’s The Mirage. Marnell also served as executive design architect for the $1.1 billion Borgata casino.


Dan Walsh, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s, launched the celebration by hitting a button that turned on the casino’s new exterior purple lighting.

"As a flagship location of the iconic gaming and hospitality brand, revamping Harrah’s Las Vegas not only enhances the guest experience, but also further reflects the fun and energy that makes Las Vegas such a unique travel destination,” he said in a statement.

The purple lighting isn’t limited to just the exterior, as purple lighting highlights Harrah’s lobby and casino floor as well.

After renovating the Valley Tower rooms in phases in 2016 and 2018, Harrah’s completed the redesign of all 2,542 rooms and suites last year. That included the Mountain Tower, which the company spent another $70 million to complete. Design work on the rooms was completed by Marnell Architecture.

The renovations include Harrah’s suites as well. Those accommodations now feature oversized tubs, a separate living and dining room with a wet bar, and the option to connect to two bedrooms.

Casino Property Dates Back to Early 70s

The history of Harrah’s Las Vegas dates back to 1973, when it opened as the Holiday Casino. Only six existing hotels on the Strip are older. Company executives renamed it after William Harrah, the founder of the Harrah’s Casino chain, in 1992.Holiday Corp., which owned the casino and the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, acquired Harrah’s business in 1980, less than two years after his death.

Besides the recently completed renovation, the property has been overhauled three other times. The most recent occurred in 1997. At that time, officials spent $200 million to abandon the riverboat casino theme that it had since its opening.

Besides the more than 2,500 rooms, the resort features 87,000 square feet of gaming space, a retail sportsbook, a weekend spa, 25,000 square feet of convention space, and a skywalk that connects to the Caesars Forum conference center. Harrah’s also features six restaurants, including a Ruth’s Chris Steak House and PizzaCake by CakeBoss star Buddy Valastro.

Donny Osmond to Headline at Harrah’s

In addition to the renovations, Harrah’s also provided some more information about Donny Osmond’s return to the Strip. Osmond, with his sister Marie Osmond, were a hit duo in the 1970s, and they parlayed that fame into a long-running residency in Las Vegas. For 11 years, they performed at the Flamingo, another Caesars resort, until Nov. 2019.

According to Harrah’s, Donny Osmond will begin a multi-year residency – his first as a solo act – starting on Aug. 31. The show will run from Tuesday through Saturday, and will include a mix of his hits and new material.

Tickets for his opening night show start at $295. Regular shows start at $65.

by, By Steve Bittenbender

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