Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 | 9:17 a.m.
Editor’s Note: Today’s official confirmation of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon’s renovation by Caesars Entertainment was reported as far back as July 2010 by Vegas DeLuxe.
By Steve Green
Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon on the Las Vegas Strip will close Feb. 4 for renovation into a boutique property and is expected to reopen in early 2014, owner Caesars Entertainment Corp. said today.
Caesars has lined up $185 million in financing to renovate the 199-room property into a “lifestylez” gaming hotel and casino featuring a 65,000-square-foot rooftop pool and dayclub/nightclub.
The name of the renovated property hasn’t been revealed, although for financing purposes, some analysts call it “Caesars Drai’s.”
Nightclub developer Victor Drai’s Drai Management Group, which has the popular Drai’s After Hours club at the property, will manage the club.
Details released today include the Feb. 4 closing date and a projection by Caesars that the renovated property will employ more than 1,000 people.
The conversion includes remodeling of the guest rooms, casino floor and common areas and the addition of a second-floor restaurant.
“This project exemplifies our strategy to develop new experiences that will help attract a broader spectrum of visitors to Las Vegas and our properties,” Caesars CEO Gary Loveman said in a statement. “The renovated property will provide visitors with a sophisticated, upscale experience, including a unique rooftop pool and club, which will have a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip.”
Caesars spokesman Gary Thompson said about 600 people are employed at Bill’s.
“Our human resources team is helping them find alternate employment during the closure. In addition to filling open positions within our resorts in Las Vegas, we have more than 10,000 open positions nationwide. We’re also reaching out to neighboring resorts in Las Vegas to see if they have open positions,” Thompson said. “All employees have been provided the option to apply online for open positions within the corporation and will be given priority and sent directly to hiring managers for interviews.”
Analysts at debt-rating company Standard & Poor’s last month noted that the renovated Bill’s project, while carrying some risks like all development projects, has advantages, including its location and plans by Caesars to include it in its national Total Rewards customer loyalty program.
Bill’s has about 360 slot machines and 50 table games, making it one of the smaller Caesars properties.
But it’s exposed to significant foot and vehicle traffic. It is located at the Strip and Flamingo Road, near Caesars’ under-construction Linq entertainment district and the Flamingo. It’s across the street from Bally’s, the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.