Monday, September 17, 2012

Imperial Palace to be Reborn as The Quad

Imperial Palace is an exceedingly cheap hotel located in the exact middle of The Strip. Despite its ridiculously low room rates and excellent location, I've never even considered checking in to the place.

This is not a hotel with a great reputation. The IP barely musters an average rating of of 2 1/2 stars from Yelp users. VegasChatter saddles it with the dubious distinction of Worst Hotel in Vegas, describing rooms with "smeared roof mirrors" with features like "Deluxe Luv Tubs." Ick.

Though I've never stayed in the hotel, I have spent a little time in their nightclub, which has an outdoor bar right on The Strip. And by a little time, I mean like five minutes before I ran out, hoping that the experience hadn't permanently damaged my soul. The Rockhouse Bar had no cover, unless you count the little piece of your soul it kills upon entry. This awful place was filled with bros with popped collars playing Beer Pong while sad-looking ladies danced in cages as classic rock blared from the speakers. I should take solace in the fact that the place is dead and buried now, but like Jason Voorhees before it I'm not sure I quite believe Rockhouse won't one day come back to murder everyone I know.

All that is to say it's absolutely no surprise that Caesars Entertainment has made the very (very, very) wise to decision to renovate and re-brand Imperial Palace. After months of speculation (by nerds who speculate on such things), Caesars announced on their Pulse of Vegas Blog that Imperial Palace would morph into The Quad. Details are a bit fuzzy on when the name change will go into effect, but renovations are already fully underway with a snazzy new check-in desk and less beat up looking garage open to the public. Other changes in the elaborate plan include an expanded and updated Casino floor, while the retail and dining levels will be given a once (or twice, or thrice... the place is pretty gross) over. Caesars hasn't announced what they'll do about the rooms, but you can bet those dirty roof mirrors and Deluxe Luv Tubs are probably not long for this Earth.

Basically, it sounds like everything will be completely changed except for the Auto Collection (which will remain intact for car geeks) and, more importantly, the resort's "Delertainers." For those who have never been to The IP, the one thing that is amazingly silly yet great about the place is their Dealertainers. Have you ever played a hand of Blackjack where your dealer was a Prince, Rod Stewart, Elvis, Tina Turner, or Amy Winehouse impersonator? Because you can do that at Imperial Palace, and (thank goodness) you'll still be able to do that at The Quad. These actually pretty good tribute acts both deal Blackjack and perform the hits of their inspirations in the middle of the casino floor. It's the closet you'll ever get to Prince actually dealing you some cards, unless you know something completely awesome that I don't know about (and in which case, please stop holding out on your underground Prince poker game).

The Pulse of Vegas Blog explains the new name, saying that it "brings to mind good times for many. A quad is a gathering place, a place to meet and make new friends." While I have rarely heard the term "quad" used to refer to anything other than a gathering place for students on a college campus, that might just be what the brain-trust at Caesars had in mind. They might be aiming directly at Top Ramen munching college kids looking for a cheap place to stay during a party heavy weekend in Las Vegas, in which case the semi-odd name for the rebranded resort in the middle of The Strip might actually be kind of genius. Only time will tell if the place will become like a rowdy dorm hall or Frat Row in the middle of The Strip. Keep an eye out for socks on the door knobs when you back to your room either pre or post-Imperial Palace re-branding, it's probably always a good idea to wear your sandals when you take a shower at the property.

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