Friday, Aug. 5, 1966 | 5 a.m.
It's party time tonight in the best Roman tradition when the massive $25 million Caesars Palace, the newest hotel on the Strip, throws wide its doors for its grand opening celebration.
Flanked by imported Romanesque statuary, spuming fountains and Italian cypress trees, 2,000 invited "patricians" and as many "plebians" as can squeeze inside will cross the marble-studded threshold of the Palace.
A "sneak preview" Wednesday drew 6,000, and tonight's crowd is expected to be larger.
A host of guest celebrities and a corps of eastern pressman flown in on a chartered plane will be on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremonies by Gov. Grant Sawyer and Nathan Jacobson, hotel president.
Scheduled to arrive at 1:30 p.m. at McCarran Field, the 82 members of the press will be greeted by an entourage of 20 Grecian goddesses and seven slave girls, according to a hotel representative.
Celebrities who have accepted invitations to the opening include Gene Kelly, Paul Burke, Xavier Cugat, Steve Lawrence and Edye Gorme, Peter Hayes, Eva Gabor, Al Hirt, Lorne Green, Henry Mancini and a number of others. Bob Cummings will fly in his own plane, according to a hotel spokesman.
A special contingent of 550 Viet Nam veterans from nearby armed forces bases were due to arrive yesterday for a gala holiday "on the house."
Premiering in the 800-seat Circus Maximus showroom will be "Rome Swings" and the Andy Williams show.
The Caesars Palace brings the total number of major Strip hotels to an even dozen.