Paris in Las Vegas
The Paris Las Vegas hotel as seen from the Bellagio with the Bellagio water show in the foreground. Please View Large On White
Paris history: Located on the Las Vegas Strip, the Paris is a Paris themed resort and casino that is owned by Harrah's Entertainment. The resort features includes a half scale 541-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower, a sign in the shape of the Montgolfier balloon, a two-thirds scale Arc de Triomphe and a replica of La Fontaine des Mers. The front of the hotel suggests the Paris Opera House. The Paris is linked via a promenade to its sister property, Bally's Las Vegas (which is also shown above).
The project was originally announced by Bally's Entertainment, owner of the adjacent Bally's Las Vegas and was desgined by architectural companies Leidenfrost/Horowitz & Assoc., Bergman, Walls & Assoc. and MBH Architects. Ground was broken for the Paris on April 17, 1997 and cost app $800 million to build. It opened September 1, 1999 with fireworks being shot from the Eiffel Tower. The Paris’ use of themeing was a continuation of a trend in Las Vegas dating back to Caesars Palace in the mids1960s. Steve Wynn’s Mirage took this concept to the next level in the late 1980s where he felt a resort should be a tourist attraction even the tourist was not staying at the resort.
Bally’s Las Vegas history: Originally the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, the MGM was one of the first Las Vegas mega-resorts. Owned by Kirk Kerkorian, it opened in 1973 with 2,084 rooms at a then staggering cost of $106M to build. It was the largest hotel in the world at opening and would remain so for a number of years. The hotel was designed by architect Martin Stern, Jr. and featured many amenities, including live jai alai, a shopping arcade and two theatres.
On November 21, 1980 the MGM Grand suffered a fire that started in a casino restaurant and traveled up into the hotel, killing 85 guests and employees. The tragedy remains the worst disaster in Nevada history. The Grand was rebuilt in only eight months and remodeling added a tower which opened in 1981.The fire made a large impact on hotel safety and led to numerious fire safety improvements worldwide. The hotel was sold in 1986 to Bally Entertainment Corporation and reopened as Bally's Las Vegas.