US – Big becomes boutique as Caesars opens The CromwellBy Phil - 28 May 2014
Having built some of the largest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, including Caesars Palace, Rio and Paris, Caesars Entertainment has just opened one of the smallest with The Cromwell modestly boasting just 188 rooms and a 3,716 sq. m. gaming floor.
Whilst the gaming floor opened last month, the rest of the property is now up and running on the redeveloped site that used to house Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. Located at Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road for US$185m, opposite Bellagio and Caesars Palace, the Cromwell has opened with 434 slot machines and 66 table games.
The switch to a more boutique style is a growing trend in Las Vegas. Nobu Hotel opened last year with 182 rooms, the SLS Las Vegas will open with 1,600 rooms whilst THEhotel at Mandalay Bay boasts just 1,100 rooms.
The 12-story Cromwell is dwarfed on either side by the Flamingo, Caesars Palace and the Bellagio. The aim is to pitch the cost of staying at customers in their 20s who might visit Drai’s Nightclub and Beach Club, located on the roof of The Cromwell.
Karie Hall, General Manager of The Cromwell, said: “The problem is, Vegas likes to do things on a grand scale. The Cromwell will bring an exclusive experience to the Las Vegas Strip as a luxury lifestyle boutique hotel focusing on hospitality, amenities and personalised service. Our partners Giada De Laurentiis and Victor Drai will inspire 360-degree day life, nightlife and dining experiences that you won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas. It’s far more likely [Cromwell staff] will be able to recognize the guest and customize their experience.”
The Cromwell is looking to win guests with unexpected twists such as in-room hair straighteners, backgammon boards and free, self-serve coffee stations in the elevator lobby of each floor.
Frances Kiradjian, Founder of the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association, said: “The landscape is changing. People are tired of what the industry calls cookie-cutter hotels. They don’t want to just stay in a property. They want to experience a property. These properties are like a destination unto themselves.”
Analysts believe The Cromwell will give Caesars Entertainment more buck per square foot than it did as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon.
Alex Bumazhny, an analyst with Fitch Ratings, said: “They were not utilising the space in the most efficient way. It has a very coveted corner. This is a way to maximise the real estate.”