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It all began with a spa robe with the words “Imperial Palace” emblazoned in gold thread. I was puzzled when it arrived on my Fort Lauderdale doorstep back in 1994 and had no idea what that robe would mean to me today.
Nineteen years later, a former massage therapist who goes by “Sammasseur” would write his first piece for VegasChatter. And in a touch of irony, it was about...the former Imperial Palace Hotel Casino.
This writer grew up in a dying steel town outside of Pittsburgh. My mother was an avid bingo fan, to say the least. After I graduated from college and moved out of state, Rosie developed an affection for gambling...slot machines, that is. She and her new husband became regulars in 1980s-era Vegas, and they always stayed at a place that sounded so fancy and regal--the Imperial Palace. Wowza, my mom was finally living like a queen!
Vegas Observations / Flamingo / Imperial Palace / Caesars Entertainment / The Strip / Vegas Rumors / Housekeeping / → All Tags
Until its recent transformation into The LINQ Hotel, the hotel-casino formerly known as Imperial Palace served an important role in Vegas. Sure, it was the smoky dump of a casino that people scoped out just for laughs. And yes, the rooms were so cheap and hilariously awful that they afforded broke college kids on spring break the opportunity to stay center Strip. But, we’re talking about its most important role: making the rest of The Strip look good.
For years, you could stay anywhere else on Las Vegas Boulevard, pay any price, even get the worst of rooms right next to the noisy ice machine with a view of an AC unit and still say “well, at least it’s not Imperial Palace.” And, you would be absolutely correct in doing so.
After being around for so long it became a fixture for not one but three different hotel concepts, it's still a bit surprising to see the
Imperial Palace The Quad The LINQ Hotel without those trademark blue tiles and winged pagodas.
A few VegasChatter members have asked for a visual update on the work being done to erase the dated sight from the Vegas skyline so here it is courtesy fellow reader Jeff C. Blue tiles have been replaced with white panels while the pagodas have been disassembled. The underlying structures have been squared off and are now being given a new, understated facade, too.
So that we can all pause and pour out some of our latte, soda, tea, or Ol' E right now, here are some shots of IP in its glory days, as captured by our Greg C.
VegasChatter Reviews / The Strip / The LINQ Hotel / Openings / Name Changes / The Quad / Imperial Palace / → All Tags
It took a transitional brand (The Quad already seems like a distant memory) to get from the heavily themed Imperial Palace to the modern and hip LINQ, but we think Caesars Entertainment has gotten it right this time. Though some construction walls are still up and the pool won't be ready until next spring, The LINQ aims to make its presence known in the budget-friendly hotel market for all the good reasons this time. With the amenities of a luxury property like a snazzy lobby bar, but without the hefty price tag, we are impressed with the remodel and looking forward to the spring openings of the revamped pool and spa.
We got to experience VIP check in which is a separate, posh-looking room apart from the main registration area. Arriving around 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, the main check-in desk was well-staffed and lines were short and seemed to be moving quickly. As room blocks are color-coded, an initial rundown of how to get to our room seemed a little confusing, but a reminder that elevators were marked for which color block they serviced made it clear.
The Strip / The LINQ Hotel / Openings / Drinking / 3535 Bar / Name Changes / The Quad / Imperial Palace / → All Tags
Now that we’ve acquainted you with some of the cocktail offerings at the LINQ's new 3535 infusion bar, let’s bring you up to speed on the venue itself. Located right off of the main registration lobby and near gaming areas (remember, the LINQ is also the name of The Quad now), this bar should breathe some excitement into a renovated space featuring a brightly colored, vortex-shaped light feature in its center. It’s hard to miss as it changes from green to red to blue, beckoning you to come closer and glance at the cocktail menu.
The bar looks very upscale and almost out of place if you still have flashbacks to the Imperial Palace like this writer sometimes does. The property has certainly come a long way and this flashy lobby bar will help bring The LINQ Hotel to the big kid’s table, so to speak, in terms of posh-feeling venues, accessibly placed near hotels’ lobbies. Welcome to
2009 the modern era, LINQ.
Vegas Observations / Name Changes / Imperial Palace / The Quad / The LINQ Hotel / Renovations / → All Tags
The LINQ Hotel is about to put its first week to bed, but while the inside is bringing all kinds of new, the outside still says "IP was here."
The center Strip property -- that once was The Quad and, before that, Imperial Palace -- has been working to shed its reputation as an eyesore, but it's hard to do that when you still have the themed pagodas from three names ago still gracing your roofline.
Openings / The LINQ Hotel / Name Changes / Imperial Palace / The Quad / Room Renovations / → All Tags
The LINQ Hotel saw its first official day of business October 30, welcoming its first guests into a first batch of newly remodeled rooms. Among those who checked in were VegasChatter readers Fernando P. and Jeff C. Each received certificates of recognition for being the first guests in their respective accommodations. Photos of Fernando's room can be seen in the photo gallery below while full-size pictures from Jeff have been placed throughout this page. Jeff also was kind enough to review his stay for us. His account is below, in his own words.
On Thursday, I checked my rates and booked it last minute. I am a diamond member but don't gamble too often anymore so my rates were better than having no players card but not free. I paid $99 total plus tax for 30th and 31st. I went to VIP services to register and I was in and out. They actually have bottled water and sodas in there. The sodas come in the glass bottles and the Pepsi is the one from Mexico. It does taste different but it's good. The Mountain Dew is made with real sugar.
Future Vegas / Vegas Observations / Name Changes / Imperial Palace / The Quad / The LINQ Hotel / Renovations / → All Tags
The blue-tiled pagoda roofline that screamed Imperial Palace long beyond the name itself was regulated to Vegas past is finally, finally starting to come down.
VegasChatter reader Jeff C. spent the night at the newly renamed resort overnight -- now, officially, The LINQ Hotel -- and shared this photo of the blue tiles being removed. (He'll share details on his stay with us soon and, yes, we know to ask about the water pressure!)
The LINQ Hotel / The Quad / Imperial Palace / Name Changes / Renovations / Room Remodels / Hotel Tours / → All Tags
There’s yet another new hotel in Las Vegas. Or, at the very least, everything old is new again.
The past year in Las Vegas has seen the opening of The Cromwell (formerly Bill’s Gamblin' Hall), SLS Las Vegas and Delano Las Vegas. Now comes The LINQ Hotel & Casino. But, if you know your Vegas, you know it’s not entirely new.
Most recently, The LINQ Hotel & Casino was known as The Quad and, before that, it was Imperial Palace. The IP first opened in 1979 and was consistently built up throughout the 80s. The 90s saw some interesting revelations about the IP’s owner at the time (he apparently had a Nazi memorabilia room on-site.) By 2005, the casino was acquired by Caesars Entertainment (the company went by Harrah’s back then), but was in desperate need of repairs. Then, the recession hit. Once the economy improved and construction began to turn an alley into the now neighboring Linq mall, the Imperial Palace brand was discarded and The Quad was born in late 2012, complete with a shiny, silver exterior. Much of the old Imperial Palace remained, though, including the rooms and the distinctive pagoda rooftops.
It may not look like it from The Strip just yet, but The Linq Hotel is already starting to make a splash in Las Vegas. An on-going metamorphosis of the soon-to-be renamed Quad (which was Imperial Palace before that) is refocusing on the hotel-casino's exterior.
After receiving a tip from VegasChatter friend @paperposter, VC photographer Greg Clarke visited the center Strip property to capture photos of the changes now underway. Greg reports all the balcony walls have been removed from the rear of the hotel and that work is now taking place on the center portion of the building that faces the pool. Here's a rendering of the finished project:
Renovations / Closings / The Quad / Imperial Palace / Name Changes / Construction / Sportsbooks / Spas / Eating / Restaurants / Dining / Rumors / → All Tags
As much as we love to scoff about The Quad's remodel (we kid because we love.. or something like that), it's been
pretty fairly serious about bringing the new. (Although, we'd all love to see that happen with its rooms more than anything else right now.)
Once known as the Imperial Palace, a renovation has brought many changes to the aging hotel-casino including a new name, a (mostly) new facade (seen above), a remodeled and expanded casino floor, a new valet entrance, and a coming soon(ish) restaurant by Guy Fieri. More recently, a new wave of unannounced change brought the closure of the Quad's buffet earlier this month. But, we've now found that it's not the only closure to report.
We labeled it as the worst hotel in Vegas three years ago (and haven't been inclined to bestow anyone else with that honor since) so we're never surprised when we receive a reader email bemoaning their stay at the
Imperial Palace Quad.
Our own @sammasseur labeled his stay there as a CSI meets Goretorium and, now, two other VegasChatter members have shared their experiences. So, zap some popcorn, turn down the
lights brightness of your screen, and get ready to be horrified. We start with this frightful tale from Tony: