Popular Palms Casinocelebrates first b-day

Nov 12, 2002 7:42 AM

   HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, GEORGE! This Friday, the Palms casino and its visionary owner George Maloof will celebrate their first anniversary in Las Vegas. It’s been a match made in casino heaven!

   When George opened the Palms a year ago, many analysts said the timing was wrong, considering a shaky economy and the aftermath of 9-11. But, the Palms overcame every challenge and established itself as a premiere Las Vegas destination not only for tourists, but locals as well.

   “Our first year has been great,” Maloof told GamingToday. “We have established ourselves as a favorite among the tourist and local markets, which has been the key to our success. Honestly, we far exceeded all our expectations this year and are looking forward to a bright future.”

   To say the Palms has been a success is an understatement. In just one year, the Palms has become one of the most visible resorts in the world.

   Not only is the Palms a popular site to shoot national television programs such as MTV's The Real World XII, E!'s Wild On, ABC's Bachelorette and CBS's CSI, it has also set a new precedent among Las Vegas resorts for high-profile parties. Among the “to die for” invitations were events for Playboy Home Video's 20th Anniversary and STUFF Magazine.

   “We will continue to plan for quality events,” Maloof said. “We’ll keep moving forward by offering great concerts and other cutting-edge entertainment.”

   The Palms’ hip, cutting-edge style has become renowned in the Hollywood circle and attracted celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire, Cameron Diaz, Carmen Electra, Jamie Fox, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Macy Gray and many more.

   Maloof hasn’t deviated from the city’s reputation as an adult playground.

   “We believe in offering our guests unparalleled opportunities to let loose and enjoy life,” Maloof said.

   Toward that end, the Palms offers experiences ranging from the Ghostbar overlooking the Las Vegas Strip to the summertime nightclub Skin, to the nightclub and concert venue Rain in the Desert.

   “I guess you could say the energy surrounding our nightlife can be electrifying,” Maloof added.

   I guess you could say the same thing about its owner!

   LOVE AND MARRIAGE! Slot machines and horse racetracks are a perfect item. They go together. Each has something to give to the other.

   In a discussion last week at Dover Downs Hotel & Conference Center in Dover, Del., it was the majority opinion that gaming is the answer to saving the tracks. A roomful of was people singing the praises of slot machines. Even in such elite places as Maryland, with its rich history of horse racing, gaming might be the answer they said. But, noted contrarians, while it may save the game, it may also destroy it.

   The two-day conference was called “Racino 2002.” Speakers included casino executives and gaming consultants. Moreover, it was pointed out that Maryland’s new governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., stoutly advocates slots at Pimlico, Laurel Park, Rosecroft Raceway and the planned track in Allegany County.

   “Racinos are changing the racing landscape,” said Steve Crist, publisher of the Daily Racing Form.

   But, Christ expressed concern that the tracks needed to take steps to prevent racing from being overshadowed by the slot machines.

   “We’re all thrilled to see purses doubling,” Crist said. “But, please don’t turn your back on the thing that got you here: horse racing itself.”