By MICHELLE RINDELS
2014-07-02 11:42 PM
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Two major Las Vegas resorts will be completely overhauled and rebranded in another sign that the entertainment capital is emerging from its recession doldrums.
Caesars Entertainment announced Tuesday that it's investing $223 million to overhaul The Quad, an aging 2,256-room hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, and will rename it the LINQ Hotel & Casino effective Oct. 30. In a separate announcement, timeshare company Westgate Resorts said it had purchased the LVH, a hard-hit property that was formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton and hosted more than 800 Elvis Presley concerts during its heyday in the 1970s.
"We are very excited to be taking this important part of Vegas history and reinventing it for the next generation of Las Vegas visitors," said new owner David Siegel, who was hoisted up by a crane Tuesday to help as crews removed the letters "LVH" from the hotel's giant marquee.
The property's new name will be Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which is about a block east of the Strip. About 200 of the nearly 3,000 rooms and suites will be converted to timeshare villas, while others will remain open to regular hotel guests.
The famously large sports book, known as the SuperBook, will be upgraded with better televisions and seating but will retain its name and continue hosting events such as SuperContest, the premier sports handicapping competition.
With 1,500 rooms, the property was the largest hotel in the world when billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian opened it as The International Hotel in 1969. Barbara Streisand performed an inaugural series of concerts there before Elvis Presley began a 58-show series that broke Las Vegas attendance records.
He later went on to set up his own penthouse in the hotel and generated millions in ticket sales in the years before his 1977 death.
Meanwhile, the rebranding of The Quad is a continuation of a renaissance in the middle of the heavily trafficked Strip. Caesars recently opened a popular pedestrian mall dubbed the LINQ, anchored by a 550-foot (167-meter)-tall Ferris wheel that began taking riders high above the city this spring.
The hotel will be named for the nearby entertainment district. It was known as the Imperial Palace before being renamed The Quad two years ago, when Caesars started remodeling the ground level. The company overhauled the casino and opened new restaurants, including Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar, named after the Food Network celebrity chef.
But online reviewers were still largely critical of the 2,300-room hotel, calling it outdated and dirty.
Caesars promises a completely renovated hotel built around a signature lobby bar, along with new stores, spa amenities and pool deck.
The "reimagined" hotel will offer "a complete lifestyle experience at one of the best locations in Las Vegas," according to Tariq Shaukat, chief marketing officer at Caesars.