Changes are coming soon to Harrah’s New Orleans, starting with the name.
Caesars Entertainment recently announced a plan to rename the property as Caesars New Orleans. The rebranding is part of a $325 million renovation and construction plan that will last until 2024.
New hotel, restaurants, development of casino space among highlights
Caesars presented its large-scale renovation plans to the New Orleans Building Corporation for approval. They include building a new 340-room hotel tower, adding “culinary and hospitality offerings,” and developing currently unoccupied space on the casino’s second floor.
The exterior and interior will also undergo improvements both to the architecture and design.
Caesars CEO Tom Reeg pointed to the property’s history in New Orleans when voicing his enthusiasm about the improvements to come.
“As the only land-based gaming operator in the city,” Reeg said, “we take great pride in our 20-year history in New Orleans, and this reinvestment is a testament to our continued commitment.”
The latest move by Caesars in the Bayou State
The announcement follows the acquisition of Caesars by Eldorado Resorts earlier this year. The newly merged company chose to continue operating under the Caesars name.
As part of that deal, VICI Properties acquired the land and real estate assets associated with Harrah’s New Orleans in July 2020. VICI then leased the property back to Caesars.
It is the second announcement already this month from Caesars regarding Louisiana casinos. Last week, the company reached an agreement to sell the Belle of Baton Rouge riverboat casino to Illinois-based CQ Holding Company, Inc.
According to Caesars, more details regarding the casino renovation will be forthcoming once they are approved by state regulators.
The Houston Chronicle noted how the renovations were already agreed upon a year ago. That agreement came as part of a deal between the Louisiana state legislature and Caesars to extend the company’s casino license through 2054.
Harrah’s New Orleans continues to operate amid citywide restrictions
Like all casinos in the United States, Harrah’s New Orleans closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in mid-June and continues to operate at reduced capacity in accordance with city guidelines.
Harrah’s New Orleans limited capacity to 25% upon reopening, then increased to 50% capacity until Nov. 24, when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced renewed restrictions lasting three weeks.
The casino requires visitors to wear masks and observe social distancing, with space between operating slots and limited seating at table games. Meanwhile, the Fillmore New Orleans, a 2,200-seat music venue attached to the casino, has continued to remain closed.
Harrah’s New Orleans first opened on Canal Street in 1999. This year’s three-month shutdown was the longest for the property since it closed from Aug. 2005 through Feb. 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.