Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, previously known as The Aladdin, is a casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip, in the unincorporated locale of Paradise, Nevada, United States. Westgate Resorts operates the condo portion of the property, known as PH Towers by Westgate.
Planet Hollywood is owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp. In April 2010, Total Rewards replaced the "A-List" Player rewards card at Planet Hollywood.
Tally-Ho and King's Crown
The first hotel was originally opened in 1963 as the Tally-Ho. It was later called King's Crown in 1964 and failed after six months when it was denied a gaming license. In 1966, it was purchased by Milton Prell, and the hotel got a $3 million renovation, including a new 500-seat "Baghdad Theater" showroom. Prell turned the English-themed hotel into an Arabian Nights theme, but kept the original Tudor style room wings. A serrated canopy and a $750,000 15-story "Aladdin's Lamp" sign were added.
The Aladdin opened on March 31, 1966, with flower petals pouring from the ceiling and onto guests as they entered the hall. One guest was composer-pianist Warren Richards. The opening entertainment included comedian Jackie Mason, the "Jet Set Revue," a musical review that showcased The Three Cheers and the Petite Rockette Dancers in the Baghdad Theatre.
Prell introduced an innovative main showroom policy by offering three completely different shows twice nightly with no cover or minimum charges.
The Aladdin contained a 9-hole golf course.
A little more than a year after it was opened, the Aladdin was host to Elvis and Priscilla Presley's wedding.
In August 1969, the Aladdin completed a $750,000 makeover including renovations to the Sinbad Lounge, which became enclosed and leveled above the casino floor with Arabic motif.
In 1969, Parvin Dohrmann Corporation took over the Aladdin, and in 1972, using the name Recrion Corporation, sold it to Sam Diamond, St. Louis politicians Peter Webbe and Sorkis Webbe, and St. Louis attorney Richard L. Daly for the price of just $5 million. Under the new owners, a $60 million face lift was conducted, including the addition of a 19-story tower and the new 7,500-seat Performing Arts Center replacing the golf course, which was $4 million over budget.
A $250,000 porte-cochere continued the tower's arabesques. The Aladdin added a new $300,000 140 ft blockbuster sign with little neon, huge attraction panels and none of the arabesque of the Aladdin's original sign.
The Aladdin had a grand re-opening in 1976 with singer Neil Diamond being paid $750,000 for two shows.
In August, 1979, several individuals were convicted by a Detroit Federal Jury of conspiring to allow hidden owners to exert control over the resort, and the Nevada Gaming Commission then closed the hotel.
The resort was sold to Wayne Newton and Ed Torres in 1980 for $85 million, snubbing an offer from comedian Johnny Carson. Newton sold his share to Torres 21 months later. Newton sued NBC, who had alleged in broadcasts, that his purchase of the Aladdin was tied to the mafia. He won a $22.8 million judgement, which was overturned on appeal.
The Aladdin closed on November 25, 1997. NCL/National Content Liquidators conducted an on-site liquidation sale beginning March 5, 1998 and continued until the building was "sold out". On April 27, 1998, the entire resort was imploded, except for the Aladdin Theatre known as the Theatre for the Performing Arts, to make way for the construction of an entirely new casino. Sommer took on London Clubs International as a partner in developing the new casino resort. LCI initially paid $50 million for a 25% interest, but took on additional equity after Sommer was unable to fund his share of cost overruns on the construction.
The new Aladdin
The Aladdin was scheduled to reopen on August 17, 2000, at 6:00 p.m., with fireworks at 10:00 p.m. The opening was delayed while the Clark County building inspector completed its fire safety testing. Another delay was caused by last-minute repairs to the casino surveillance system. This left thousands of Aladdin visitors leaving in disappointment, as well as opening night hotel guests wondering where they'd spend the night. Many high-rollers waited out on the sidewalks in front of the Aladdin for hours. Most were unable to even get to their luggage, since the hotel had been locked down for testing. Aladdin employees tried to arrange alternate accommodations for the guests with Paris and Bellagio.
Meanwhile, the Desert Passage mall was opened with I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden opening the doors to let the large crowd in.
The Aladdin finally opened the next day at 7:45 a.m. 100 members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226, as well as more than 1,000 other workers were marching on Las Vegas Boulevard to protest the Aladdin opening without a union contract. Eden's speech as well as the other festivities were drowned out by the bullhorns and the rest of the protest.
According to Josh Axelrad in his 2010 book, Repeat until Rich, he and other professional gamblers, primarily card counters, took advantage of the Aladdin's inexperienced staff its opening weekend and fleeced the casino for an undetermined but large amount of money. The casino later introduced severe limits on mid-shoe bets in response.
The casino was in financial trouble from the start and was sold in bankruptcy on June 20, 2003, to a partnership of Planet Hollywood and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Renovations were carried out in stages, allowing the resort to remain open throughout. Planet Hollywood Las Vegas includes an expanded casino, new restaurants, new nightclub and retail space. A redesign of the facade and pedestrian plaza was intended to correct defects that made accessing the property from the sidewalks on The Strip difficult.
The retail space formerly known as "The Desert Passage" was converted into the Hollywood-themed "Miracle Mile Shops."
After the casino was renovated, it was reopened on April 17, 2007 as Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The official grand opening of was the weekend of November 16, 2007. The Planet Hollywood restaurant, however, remains at The Forum Shops at Caesars.
In late December 2009 Westgate opened the PH Towers, a timeshare and hotel linked with the casino and main hotel.
Under Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah's)
Caesars officially acquired the property on February 19, 2010. Caesars began its process of taking over the property in December 2009 by purchasing some of the resort's debt. The casino defaulted on its mortgage and had failed to make scheduled payments in September, 2009.
On January 16, 2010 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide dropped their affiliation so Caesars could take over hotel operations. On February 18, 2010 The Nevada Gaming Commission gave Caesars the approval to take over the property. Caesars' Total Rewards program was phased into Planet Hollywood beginning in April 2010.
Marylin Winn has stepped in as President of the resort; she is President of Paris Las Vegas and Bally's Las Vegas, both Caesar's Hotels. Robert Earl, former president and founder of the Planet Hollywood brand, will advise Caesars on marketing strategies for Planet Hollywood Hotel and the other nine casinos Caesars owns in the Las Vegas area. Winn is leaving Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah's Entertainment) and taking the place of Andrew Pascal at Wynn/Encore Las Vegas as President of Wynn/Encore Las Vegas.
Caesars does not own Prive Nightclub, nor some restaurants in the hotel. It does not own the newly opened PH Tower by Westgate that opened in December 2009, however it does operate that tower's hotel operations. Through a licensing agreement, Caesars now has the right to use the Planet Hollywood trademark at other properties worldwide.
Combined with its earlier acquisition of the former Barbary Coast Casino (via a three-way-swap), the acquisition of Planet Hollywood's footprint on the Strip gave Caesars total control of the 126 acre on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip from Flamingo to Harmon Roads.
Planet Hollywood Hotel Manila
The second Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino is set to open in Manila, Philippines. It will be part of a Integrated Resort called The Belle Grande Manila Bay, the largest casino in the Philippines. Set to soft opening in 4th Quarter of 2011 or 1st Quarter of 2012. It will be located in Pagcor City The 20 billion dollar entertainment city in Manila.
Planet Hollywood has hip and modern architecture fitted to its Hollywood theme. It features a three-acre casino floor full of traditional gambling machines like slots, table games and The Playing Field Race and Sports Book. This features 33 plasma screens, two jumbo screens and a section for VIP. Planet Hollywood is the first Las Vegas resort to offer table games dealt by young ladies in "chic lingerie". The Pleasure Pit is a section of the table games where this happens with go-go dancers entertaining the gamblers at the side.
This can be accessed by taking an escalator in the casino or the elevator. Here, guests can relax on comfy chairs overlooking the casino. Many come to smoke, relax or think. The area is rather spaced out with room to walk and includes a place for shooting basketball hoops. It includes a "Living Room" with sofas to be accessed by the guests.
The Planet Hollywood showroom is located on the mezzanine. It features several different live shows; as of 2010, the most popular and longest-running is titled Peepshow starring Holly Madison. A live version of the television series America's Got Talent hosted by Jerry Springer (who flies to Vegas weekly from his self-titled show's taping in Stamford, Connecticut) and Tony n' Tina's Wedding played on the Mezzanine in 2009.
"The Spa by Mandara" is located on this floor. Two fine dining restaurants, KOI and Strip House are present here, across from the wedding chapel.
The swimming pool in this resort can be accessed through the sixth floor. The area overlooks the Strip with a view of the north and south. It features two pools and two hot spa one of each in both the South and North Strip. The one in the North Strip section features VIP cabanas for renting. In between is a bar/grill/snack-bar with a patch of grass lined with pool chairs for guests to sit and eat. The pool usually is open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the bar from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, DJ's spin popular music from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Planet Hollywood Resort features rooms that meet its Hollywood theme. The resort has 52 floors (with the final two being VIP) and each room is dedicated to a certain movie such as Backdraft. Rooms feature actual props and memorabilia from the film. The rooms range from standard to luxurious "Panorama" suites with a view of the whole Las Vegas Strip.
- Hollywood Hip: standard room with a Hollywood "hip-style". Choice between one king bed or two queen. It is 450 sqft, has two speaker phones, an ironing rack, an oversized bathtub, a shower, and 42 in plasma television. A purple sitting chair is available by the window. This room is available as a "fountain-view room" which offers a remarkable view of the Bellagio Resort and Casino and its fountain water-show. It has the same accommodations as the Hollywood Hip (unless it's a suite) and is usually available at an extra charge.
- Resort room: similar to the Hollywood Hip but larger and with more accommodations. It is about 560 sqft with a choice between a king bed or two queens. It has the same ironing board, oversized bathtub, and internet access (for a fee). What is extra other than extra space is that this offers two windows and two chairs. It offers a sofa, double sinks, and ambient bathroom lighting.
- Resort Vista: This 570 sqft room has a king size bed, marble bathroom floors, oversized soaking tub, a writing desk, coffee table and sofa. This is an add-on to the other mentioned features.
- Panorama Suite: about 1255 sqft; this suite has a panoramic 180-degree view of the Las Vegas Strip from living room. It features luxurious accommodations like a double door foyer entrance, two sofas or one sofa and several chairs, one 52 in flat screen TV in living area, a dining area, wet bar with refrigerator, adjoining powder room, large writing desk, separate bedroom area with couch and table, one 36 in flat screen TV in bedroom, oversized soaking tub with retractable wall, and an iPod station in bedroom.
The PH Towers is a residential tower and boutique hotel located next to Planet Hollywood by Westgate Resorts. The 56-story building contains 1201 suites ranging in size from 400 to.
Footage of the implosion of the original structure was used in the closing credits of the film The Cooler.
This casino was used in the filming of Going in Style.
Seasons One and Two of the A&E Network show Criss Angel Mindfreak were filmed at the resort.
The TLC show Trading Spaces took place at the Aladdin in a 2004 episode.
The Theatre for the Performing Arts was the site for the 2006 to 2009 Miss America pageants.
The ' (2007) world premiere took place at Planet Hollywood on September 25, 2007.
The Rambo (2008) world premiere took place at Planet Hollywood on January 24, 2008.
Scenes from the 2008 movie 21 were shot in Planet Hollywood.
The Planet Hollywood hotel is prominently featured in the movie What Happens in Vegas as the hotel where the Fullers stay and get married.
The movie Transporter 3 had its world premiere at PH on November 21, 2008. Jason Statham was present for the premiere.
The movie Race to Witch Mountain was partly shot here for the space convention
The movie The Expendables premiered at PH in August, 2010. This was announced by a chopper that was displayed on the PH casino floor.
Seasons One and Two of E's Holly's World were shot at the Planet Hollywood. Holly Madison stars in Peepshow on property.
A flashmob set to Midi Mafia's "PHamous" was performed by several YouTubers including ShayCarl and KassemG in November, 2009.
Scenes from "Get Him to the Greek" were filmed and take place at PH.
Scenes from "Knocked Up" were filmed at PH.
Performing Arts Center
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
- Planet Hollywood (Aladdin) News - Vegas Today and Tomorrow
- Las Vegas Travelog. Including tens of photos.