Caesars Entertainment plans to take its four brands—Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, Flamingo and The Linq—into non-casino settings as it seeks hotel management and licensing opportunities.
NEW YORK—Caesars Entertainment’s plans, announced Monday, to enter the non-gaming hotel space is something that’s been on Bob Morse’s mind for a few years.
Morse, the company’s president of hospitality for four years, said the timing was right for the company to expand once its executive realized the potential return on investment.
“Caesars for a long time didn’t seem themselves as doing non-gaming—the gaming business was great, everything was doing really, really well,” said Morse, who before joining Caesars worked for ITT Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Noble Investment Group and InterContinental Hotels Group.
“As the gaming business was beginning to level off a little bit, the hospitality business was growing like crazy. I’m a brand guy, this is what I come from … I said, ‘We’ve got a great brand here, and we’re not taking advantage of this,’” Morse said during an interview at the launch party at New York City’s Rainbow Room. “Our board gave us the green light to go.”
The company will offer its Caesars Palace, Cromwell, Flamingo and The Linq brands for management and license agreements.
“Our preference is always going to be to manage a Caesars Palace—I’m not sure that the day will ever come where another company will manage a Caesars Palace,” said Marco Roca, president of global development and chief development officer. “As we look at our other brands, those are certainly licensable products. And we’ll definitely look to do that with the right partners and groups and right management companies.”
Morse added: “We will license to an operator that we know and respect that they’ll take care of our brand.”
Mark Frissora, CEO and president of Caesars Entertainment, announces during a launch party on Monday that the company is now in the non-gaming hotel business. (Photo: Jeff Higley)
The company would like to get resort locations and gateway cities in the United States. Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are all on the radar for early consideration, Morse said.
“We really want to focus on gateway cities and those special resort locations where people are looking to create memories,” Roca said.
The Caesars Palace brand will most likely be the first to enter markets, he said, and then the other brands will fill in.
“Once you have the established brand there with the core brand, you can go in and add brands that are more affordable and still have experiences,” Roca said.
Morse added that the company’s brand portfolio has “some nice tiering.”
“Every one of our brands has some resonance about them because of Las Vegas and what we’ve done with them,” he said.
Doing four or five deals a year in some combination of managed and licenses would be an ideal growth pace, Morse said.
Roca said the non-gaming opportunities will not temper the company’s desire to grow its gaming business.
“Caesars is about as iconic as the (Rainbow Room) we’re sitting in here today,” Roca said. “Also, we’re an entertainment brand—having those shareable and curated moments is what we’re all about.”
According to a company news release, each of the brands has unique characteristics to serve the different tastes and preferences of Caesars Entertainment guests around the world:
“Caesars Palace: Indulgent and fun luxury
From its unique Roman architecture, opulent design, mouth-watering culinary experiences, high-energy performances by entertainment idols and once-in-a-lifetime extraordinary events, to the always-welcoming smile of every employee, Caesars makes the everyday truly extraordinary.
“Flamingo: Vibrant Vegas-style resort
Classic Vegas still lives inside our walls— where having a history to be proud of doesn’t mean being “outdated.” Where other hotels treat history as a remnant of the past, we embrace it, proving there is a reason why Vegas never goes out of style. Walking through Flamingo, guests can feel the essence of vintage Vegas, taste the liquid cool of a dry martini and hear the seductive sounds of the cabaret.
“The Cromwell: Luxury lifestyle boutique
The Cromwell is an intimate, lifestyle boutique hotel that provides a distinct and curated experience because of its decadent and whimsical design, eclectic nightlife and signature dining offerings. Chic suites and sophisticated rooms feature a contemporary design aesthetic and deluxe amenities.
“The Linq: Social, sensory and modern
The Linq is a 360-degree full-sensory hospitality and entertainment experience: a curated lifestyle destination that evokes the excitement of exploration and self-expression. It is for those who seek the electric feeling of being in the right place at the right time; where style and culture evolve and envelop each visitor. Social in nature, The Linq encourages connections and interaction. It immerses guests in a fresh and dynamic atmosphere, sending them on a journey of discovery and ensuring they have an experience that is all their own.”
Caesars has its first non-gaming deals in the fold. It will brand and manage two luxury Caesars Palace hotels and a beach club at Meraas’ Dubai-based Bluewaters Island development in late 2018, and it plans to add a Caesars Palace resort to beach-front property along the coast of Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico.