January 11-17, 2001 ARCHIVES
"Las Vegas Entertainment Today" Covers the Las Vegas Entertainment Scene Weekly

The Imperial Palace Celebrates 25 Years In 2001

Throughout the past 25 years, visitors to Las Vegas have seen many changes, but the fabulous service and warm atmosphere of the center-"Strip" Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino is not one of them. One of the first themed hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, the Imperial Palace remains one of the top 20 largest hotels in the world and the second largest privately owned hotel-casino in the world.

Prior to becoming a pioneer in the worldwide gaming industry, Ralph Engelstad was a general contractor, who began in the hospitality industry by purchasing the grounds and buildings of the old Flamingo Capri Motel in 1971. By 1974, he expanded the property to include East and North buildings, along with the Shangri-La pool.

On January 1, 1976, the Imperial Palace Hotel began as the Impenal Palace d.b.a. the Flamingo Capri. But it wasn't until November 1, 1979, that the beautiful Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino opened its doors, with a staff of 1,100 employees.

The oriental-themed hotel added its signature blue hue to the Las Vegas "Strip" entertainment scene in June 1980, with the opening of the 850-seat Imperial Theatre, now home to the multi-million-dollar stage extravaganza "Legends In Concert."

Still performing twice nightly, except Sundays, for the past 17 years, "Legends In Concert" is one of the most creatively honored shows anywhere and features unbelievable, live recreations of musical superstars of yesterday and today.

By 1981, the Imperial Palace was a 19-story hotel with 850 rooms, but was expanded one year later to 1,500 rooms. During the 1986 expansion project, the number of hotel rooms increased to 2,100 with the completion of another tower and an additional 15,000 square feet of space added to the casino.

But that still wasn't enough for Engelstad who began a three-phase expansion project in August 1987, which was completed in July 1989. The three-phases included the addition of another tower, bringing the room count to 2,640; an expansion of the front of the hotel to the sidewalk of the famous Las Vegas "Strip," including a satellite casino, race & sports book, health and fitness center, and office complex; and the addition of a new Olympic-size swimming pool, a two-story waterfall, heated spa and a poolside bar.

The Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino now employs 2,400 people and has received many awards and accolades for hiring the disabled, including the 1991 National Employer of the Year by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.

Throughout the 25 years, the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino has been proud to pioneer some industry "firsts," such as the first drive-thru Race & Sports Book, located in the rear parking lot off Koval Lane, and the first hotel in the nation to begin the Airline Baggage Check-In Service together with Certified Airline Passenger Services (C.A.P.S.) providing guests the opportunity to check their baggage, receive boarding passes and seat assignments right at the hotel, skipping all the hassles at the airport.

Ralph Engelstad, the management and staff are proud to celebrate the Imperial Palace's Silver Anniversary, 25 years of expansion, growth and excellence in service, entertainment and hospitality. Join the celebration by calling (800) 634-6441 for room reservations or your local travel agency. For more information about the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino, the best value center-"Strip," check out www.imperialpalace.com on the internet.

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