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Can you believe your eyes? Not in the new Vegas!28 December 1999
LAS VEGAS How much attention was paid to detail in preparing the new Paris hotel and casino for its Sept. 1 opening?
Waiters, change people, casino hosts - everyone in the operation, it seems - were given quick lessons in the French language. When I visited two weeks after opening, it seemed that everywhere I turned I was greeted with "Bonjour" and "Bonsoir."
The eight restaurants, including the buffet, are French-themed. Delivery people pedal bicycles as they bring baguettes and croissants to the restaurants.
Even the toll-free phone number is different from the usual Las Vegas emphasis on 7's and 11's. At Paris, it's (888) BONJOUR.
And as for the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, c'est magnifique!
As soon as it opened its doors, Paris became a Las Vegas favorite, a must-see attraction even among the Mediterranean villages, pyramids, fairy-tale castles, volcanos and pirate battles that dot the Las Vegas Strip.
Helping that along is that Paris actually was ready to open on opening day. Come Sept. 1, the 85,000-square foot casino was ready for action, the 2,916 rooms were ready for guests, the eight restaurants were ready for diners and the upscale 31,500-square foot Rue de la Paix shopping district was ready for anyone with money left over from the casino.
That's in sharp contrast to the recent "soft" opening of the Venetian, which opened the casino for cash flow while construction on shops and rooms was ongoing.
On top of that, the $760 million Paris resort - built for about half the $1.5 billion it cost to build the Venetian - undoubtedly carries its theme throughout the resort more than any other property in Las Vegas history. The Eiffel Tower, directly across the Strip from the Mediterranean-themed Bellagio, is a 50-story half-scale replica of the real thing. When Paris, the resort, opened, the great-grandson of the designer of the Eiffel Tower paid tribute by turning out the lights on the tower in Paris, the city.
Even the hotel itself is inspired by a French original. The resort's 34-story hotel is called "Hotel de Ville." The original 800-year-old Hotel de Ville now is the Paris City Hall.
How much is Paris like Paris? When a blackjack dealer wished me "bonne chance" instead of "good luck," it didn't conjure up images of card games by the Seine. But a few winning hands is a nice prelude to a walk through the Arc de Triomphe.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Grochowski