A Famous Motorcycle Jump....

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Where am I ? A famous locale….visited by millions who, cry upon leaving! Yes, you guessed it the Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, USA… on the main strip, taken in 1969..
Straight out of the camera as is… scanned into the digital world…


In 1962, Jay Sarno, a cabana motel owner, used US$35 million that had been lent to him by the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund to begin plans for a hotel on land owned by Kirk Kerkorian. Sarno would later act as designer of the hotel he planned to construct.
Building of the 14-story Caesars Palace hotel began in 1962. That first tower would have 680 rooms on the 34 acre (138,000 m2) site.
Sarno struggled to decide on a name for the hotel. He finally decided to call it Caesars Palace because he thought that the name Caesar would evoke thoughts of royalty because of Roman general Julius Caesar. Also he felt the name would attract a more seductive crowd of women to attract more men into the gambling portion of the casino. Sarno felt that guests should feel they were at a king’s home while at his hotel. It is called “Caesars” and not “Caesar’s” because every guest is a Caesar.
Sarno contracted many companies to build the hotel, from the Roman landscapes it presents, to the water fountains that have been stages of various events and the hotel’s swimming pools.
On August 5, 1966, the hotel was inaugurated.

On December 31, 1967, Evel Kneivel unsuccessfully tried to jump 141 feet (43 m) over the hotel’s water fountain with his motorcycle.

In 1969, Stuart and Clifford S. Perlman, founders of the Lum’s chain of restaurants, purchased the hotel. On July 15 of that year, executives lay ground on an expansion area of the hotel, and they buried a time capsule in the area, but the time capsule was stolen days later.
In 1973, the Del Webb corporation was contracted to build a 16-story building adjacent to the Palace. The project was finished in 1975.
Many top performers, such as Pilita Corrales (Asia’s Queen of Songs), Celine Dion, Cher, Bette Midler, Liberace, Elton John, George Burns, Pat Cooper, Diana Ross, Paul Anka and Odia Coates , Julio Iglesias, Judy Garland, David Copperfield, Stevie Nicks, Gloria Estefan, Phyllis Diller, Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Seinfeld, Eric Tsang and Mariah Carey have performed at the hotel.

In 1980, Gary Wells gained much media coverage, and much physical suffering, when he unsuccessfully tried to jump a motorcycle over a water fountain at the Caesars Palace. He sustained injuries to many different parts of his body.

In 1982 Ronnie Vannucci, now playing in Las Vegas-based The Killers, became the youngest musician to play with a band at age six in a lounge in Caesars Palace.

Caesars Palace lobby
The Caesars Palace Grand Prix car race (a Formula One World Championship event) was held at Caesars Palace in 1981 and 1982. After the Watkins Glen race course was removed from the schedule following the 1980 season, Formula One included an event in Las Vegas for the 1981 campaign. The new race was not popular among the drivers, primarily because of the desert heat. The track was laid out in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace hotel and was surprisingly well set up for a temporary circuit: wide enough for overtaking, it provided ample run-off areas filled with sand, and had a surface that was as smooth as glass. Its counter-clockwise direction, however, put a tremendous strain on the drivers’ necks. When Nelson Piquet clinched his first World Championship by finishing fifth in 1981, it took him fifteen minutes to recover from heat exhaustion. The 1982 race was won by Michele Alboreto in a Tyrrell, but the race was not renewed for the following season due to poor attendance.
During the 1980s, the hotel opened an Atari game room that had over 60 Atari video game arcade machines.

In 1989, Robbie Knievel successfully completed what his father could not do years before by completing the fountain jump.

Several championship boxing matches were held in Caesars Outdoor Arena. Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Durán all headlined here, along with Larry Holmes against both Muhammad Ali and Gerry Cooney. England boxing captain Errol Christie was on the supporting bill with Hearns when he fought Duran. Also, three bouts between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe were contested here, one of which included the infamous “Fan Man” incident which saw a parachuter with a fan attached to his back parachute down to the ring in the middle of the fight. Michael Moorer also won the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World when he defeated Holyfield. The fight led to Holyfield’s first of several retirements. Oscar De La Hoya also headlined several boxing cards here during the mid-to-late ‘90s, as did Shane Mosley. The arena also held one of its more interesting events during the summer of 1991: a pre-season National Hockey League game between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. A rink was laid out over the parking lot and held firm despite 85-degree temperatures. Behind a goal from Wayne Gretzky, the Kings came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 5-2 before a crowd of over 14,000. The game served as a predecessor to both the Frozen Fury (the Kings’ annual preseason game in Las Vegas that began in 1997) and the Winter Classic (the annual regular season game played outdoors on New Year’s Day that began in 2008).

The spiral escalators are a defining feature of the Forum Shops.
The hotel’s management wanted it to have a new atmosphere as the 1990s approached, a trend mirrored by many of the big Las Vegas resorts. This move was not strange to Las Vegas hotel owners, as most hotels there were planning to modernize.
In 1992, The Forum Shops at Caesars opened; it was one of the first venues in the city where shopping, particularly at high-end fashion house stores, was an attraction in itself. The fourth phase, which opened on October 22, 2004, has the second-built circular escalator in the United States. The other is at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.
WrestleMania IX, one of the annual World Wrestling Federation spectacles promoted by Vince McMahon, was held here in 1993. The theme was “The World’s Largest Toga Party”.
In 1993, the NBC game show Caesars Challenge was taped here.
Magician David Copperfield was a headliner for several stints in the Circus Maximus Theatre.
Comedian George Burns had performed there a number of times in the early 1990s and had stated that he wanted to perform there on his 100th birthday but could not due to failing health.

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
Caesars has opened the Plaza, an open-air area with celebrity chef Bradley Ogden’s eponymous restaurant and the Colosseum, where Céline Dion (A New Day…) and Elton John (The Red Piano) were regular performers. The Colosseum was specifically built for Dion’s show, A New Day…, a spectacular produced by former Cirque du Soleil director Franco Dragone. Dion’s show was also notable for having some of the highest ticket prices for any show in the city, with seats as high as $220 each; nonetheless, the show regularly sold out.3
On October 2, 2004, big-time boxing returned to the Palace, as Wladimir Klitschko and former Olympian Jeff Lacy headlined a card televised on Showtime.
Caesars Palace opened the Augustus Tower in August 2005 (designed by Bergman Walls Associates). It stands 46 floors high and is perpendicular to the Strip.
In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment acquired the first Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and became the owner of Caesars Palace.
On May 4, 2006, Mike Metzger became the first person to ever backflip on a motorcycle over the fountains.+
In 2006, the hotel held a total of four Michelin stars for their restaurants. Two stars for Restaurant Guy Savoy and one star each for Bradley Ogden and Mesa Grill.
In May 2007, Bette Midler was announced as Dion’s formal replacement. Midler will reportedly only perform about 100 shows a year, with Elton John continuing to perform his popular Red Piano show 50 nights a year while Midler is on hiatus. After taking a three-year hiatus, Cher, following her Farewell Tour, returned to Caesars Palace with a three-year contract, performing 200 shows beginning May 6, 2008.
In September 2007, Latin superstar Luis Miguel, gave three shows celebrating the Mexican Independence Day.
Harrah’s Entertainment announced in January 2009 that completion of the new Octavius Tower has been stalled due to lower demand. Only the exterior of the tower will be completed.
On May 26, 2009, U.S President Barack Obama performed in the Colosseum in the one-night show A Good Fight alongside Sheryl Crow, Bette Midler and Rita Rudner to fundraise for Nevada’s senator Harry Reid re-election campaign. Several streets were closed and the Augustus tower was blocked as security precautions by the Secret Service during the visit.
*On July 17, 2010, Flight Centre attempted a Guinness World Record for the largest toga party, still to be confirmed.

Race and Sports Book, near Mesa Grill
[edit]Caesars Magical Empire
In mid-1996, a new venue known as “Caesars Magical Empire” was created on the property, showcasing major magicians such as Jon Armstrong, Lee Asher, Whit Haydn, TC Tahoe, Jeff “Magnus” McBride, Scott and Jenny Alexander, and Alain Nu. This development coincided with the 1990s campaign to reinvent Las Vegas as a destination for family vacations, by creating attractions appropriate for children as well as adults. The “Empire” was an extravagantly-themed immersive dining and entertainment experience, housed in a 66,000 ft2 specially-built building constructed with 800 tons of steel. Guests with ticketed reservations entered through the “Celestial Court” to the “Chamber of Destiny”, which, through elaborate effects, appeared to be a magical elevator which transported them underground to a “subterranean catacombs.” In reality the guests didn’t descend at all; the walls of the room were raised by a large electric winch and the floor of the room shaken by pneumatic actuators. “Roman gladiators” led the guests through winding dimly-lighted passages, assuring them of their safety, and then humorously pretending to have taken a wrong and dangerous turn.
The guests then arrived at the circular, domed, and ornately appointed Sanctorum Secorum1, a central, 70-foot (21 m)-high rotunda, from which other areas of the “Empire”, such as the mirrored “Infinity Hallway”, could be accessed. An audio-visual welcome from a heroic statue of Caesar was enhanced by music, a light show, and a 20-foot (6.1 m) gas flame curling up from a fissure in the “rock.” A large vase seemingly floating in space near a statue poured a continuous stream of water into a pool. The guests were then divided into groups and given one of three medallions to wear. Next, guests were escorted to ten dining chambers, each seating 24 persons (for a total of 240 guests at each seating). In addition to a wait staff which interacted comically with the guests, magic was performed in each dining room by a sorcerer host. In one amusing trick, guests were given paper “menus” on which were images of a cow, chicken, fish and vegetable, and were instructed to tear one of the pictures as indication of their choice of a beef, chicken, fish or vegetable entre. The menus were then collected and seemingly all thrown haphazardly together, then “destroyed” by fire. but nevertheless, each guest correctly received his or her chosen dinner. A stylized clear glass goblet that held spirits during the meal were also available for purchase in the Caesars Magical Empire gift shop.
The interior of the entire complex was decorated in a combination of pseudo cave-and-classic architecture, with faux rock-work and stone, real marble floors, triumphal arches, brass railings, painted mosaics, atmospheric sky domes, banners, torches, Roman “classical” furniture and lamp reproductions, statuary, caryatids and telemons, bas-relief faces of mythical personages, and intricately cast “carved” designs, all theatrically lighted.
After dining, the guests were free to visit one of two lounges, The “Spirit Bar” (flanked by two “Seance Rooms”) or the “Forbidden Crypt.” Additionally, they could see more magic performed in one or another of two incongruously-named-and-designed theatres: the 75-seat “Pagoda Theatre”, or the 150-seat “Great Sultan’s Palace.”
While the endeavor was popular and profitable, accommodation of several audiences of 240 diners each day at capacity was no match for the potential income from the enormous audiences which could be accommodated in a large concert space. Thus the six-year reign of the “Empire”, came to an end on November 30, 2002, after which the structure was razed to make room for a large concert hall created for singer Celine Dion.
Over the years, the hotel has been owned by various companies, including Sheraton and The Hilton International Corporation’s, Caesars Entertainment (originally known as Park Place Entertainment) bought the property in 2001 before it merged with Harrah’s in 2005. That year, Caesars Palace was affected by a large flood.

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