#OnThisDay in 1966 Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino opened with a lavish launch party that reportedly cost $1,000,000!
At the time Caesars Palace was the largest hotel ever built as a single unified project in Nevada. It had 700 rooms across 14 crescent-shaped floors, although some were still being built when it first opened its doors.
Originally it was to be called Cabana Palace, which then became the Desert Palace, before the decision was to name it Caesars Palace – without the apostrophe!
With the main building set back 135 ft. from the Las Vegas Strip, visitors were welcomed to the entrance by eleven fountains jetting water 25ft into the sky, with up to 10,00 gallons of water suspended in the air at any given time – and falling into a 280 ft. long pool. Everywhere there stood reproduction Roman statues shipped directly from Italy in scalloped niches. Inside was no less spectacular – the world’s largest chandelier, 96ft long and 66ft wide constructed with 100,000 crystals.
Even for Vegas it was an opulence rarely experienced…as the Review Journal quoted at that time, “Even Julius or Augustus would have been envious”!
There was a photographer in town that truly appreciated the architecture of this new and iconic building with its many statues, columns, and fountains – typical of Hollywood Roman period productions. Here are just a few of Jay Florian Mitchell’s stunning images from 1966; taken from a book he drafted titled ‘How To Photograph Caesars Palace”, which is preserved in the museum’s collection.
Members enjoy free admission to NSMLV, the Springs Preserve, and 6 other state museums (like the Boulder City Railroad Museum), receive exclusive invitations to museum events, and get a 15% discount in our store.