Vegas casino reopens with new look

2 September 2011
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Plaza, which has gone through ups and more recently downs over the past four decades, formally reopens for business today after its owners spent nearly a year and $35 million on renovations.

The upgraded hotel will feature new guest rooms, suites, all-new bars, restaurants, and entertainment options. The renovations used contemporary furnishings from the unfinished hulk of the Fontainebleau, the Strip hotel-casino on which construction halted in 2009.

Both Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, admitted in speeches at a Wednesday media event to attending the 1971 opening of what was then called the Union Plaza.

As west end of the Fremont Street Experience, the Plaza sits on 16.5 acres with more than 1,000 guest rooms and suites, making it one of the largest hotel-casinos in downtown Las Vegas.

Beginning next year, the Plaza will introduce mobile gaming after reaching a deal with Cantor Gaming, the hotel's parent company said. Terms of the "exclusive long-term" deal were not disclosed. Cantor will displace Lucky Race & Sports Book on March 1, to avoid disruption during the all-important football season, then undertake an overhaul of the sports book area.

"We are excited to offer a fully refurbished race and sports book next year. We are confident that with Cantor Gaming, we will introduce an unforgettable sports wagering experience in downtown Las Vegas that matches the stylish, comfortable classic Las Vegas experience that we have created at the Plaza," said Tony Santo, president and CEO of Santo Gaming, the licensee of Plaza operator Play LV.

The Plaza's reopening comes just in time for college football. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas opens its 2011 season at 5 p.m. Thursday as a 35-point underdog against Wisconsin, according to Cantor Gaming.

"We are thrilled and honored that the Plaza has chosen us as its long-term partner, further demonstrating and expanding our leadership position in creating a unique sports trading experience in Las Vegas," Cantor Gaming President and CEO Lee Amaitis said.

Amaitis added that the new sports book will include mobile gaming, In-Running betting, which allows for wagers during games, and other gambling options.

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