All roads lead to Caesars!

Jun 22, 2004 4:47 AM

Caesars Palace is putting the finishing touches to its new Roman Plaza and Forum Shops expansion, both of which are scheduled for completion this summer.

The new facilities are part of a $376 million makeover that also includes a new hotel tower, which is likely to open the middle of next year.

The Roman Plaza — situated at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road — will serve as a welcome center to the new Caesars Palace. Sitting atop a recently constructed 500-bay underground parking garage, the Plaza will offer guests entering the property an array of dining, retail and entertainment experiences before carrying visitors on their way into the hotel-casino.

The Roman Plaza will adjoin the new Colosseum Way casino entrance that opened last November. As broad as a Roman boulevard, the Colosseum Way is a sweeping new pedestrian gateway to the Forum casino, directly connecting the new Colosseum theater with the historic porte cochere entrance to Caesars Palace.

In addition to the engaging Seahorse Lounge and a uniquely designed Elton John retail store, the Colosseum Way features the latest in high-tech slots and eight table games.

Completing the expansion facing the Strip, the expanded Forum Shops will grow by 175,000 square feet to a total of 675,000 square feet. Christening of the new wing is scheduled for early fall.

The three-level expansion will extend the current retail, dining and entertainment facility out to Las Vegas Boulevard. The expansion will include an additional array of upscale specialty retail tenants as well as several new restaurants.

One of the future tenants has already caught the eye of upscale car buffs. Exotic Cars at Caesars Palace, a 26,000-square-foot luxury automobile dealership and retail emporium, is expected to roll into the Forum Shops in October.

The dealership will feature a two-tiered showroom displaying the world’s most desired motor cars, including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys and many other exotic makes.

But be forewarned that the sticker prices on these gems are not for the feint of heart, even though there’s no charge for window shopping.

Some of the coveted vehicles that could induce sticker show are a Bentley Continental GT ($220,000), and the new model Porsche Carrera GT ($500,000), along with the 2003 625-horsepower Saleen S7 ($435,000), the 2003 616-horsepower Ferrari Enzo ($1.3 million), and a classic 427 Shelby Cobra with only 9,000 original miles ($375,000).

Besides a collector’s item of a car, buyers will find private salons, a private rear entrance and a wood-paneled VIP Lounge, equipped with plasma-screen televisions.

If you can’t afford the vehicle but like the accompanying sunglasses and stroker caps, the car consortium will include more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, featuring luxury brand auto merchandise, highlighted by a Picture Car area, where visitors can have their photos taken in an exotic car.