The world's largest hotel - a gargantuan castle designed to entice a growing legion of gamblers from middle America - opens Tuesday and all 4,032 rooms are expected to be filled. At a family-friendly $45 a room.
"Isn't this the most sensational thing you've ever seen?" actor Ernest Borgnine said as he watched a white horse prance across a lobby of the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in a pre-opening VIP party Monday night.Hundreds of Las Vegas business, political and social elite milled about the $290 million property. Minstrels, jugglers and harpists entertained guests, a 10-foot dragon cavorted and a man in a suit of armor walked stiffly amid the guests.
The entertainers will be standard fare at the Excalibur, whose formal opening Tuesday marks a milestone for Circus Circus Enterprises Inc..
The $1.6 billion Circus Circus company, which started with a struggling Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino 16 years ago, has become the envy of the gaming industry with a unique strategy focusing on low-rollers.
The giant castle at the southern end of the Strip is anchored by four 28-story towers and covers 70 acres.
It will replace two other Las Vegas properties that have held the title of the world's largest hotel - the 3,174-room Las Vegas Hilton and the new, 3,530-room Flamingo Hilton.
Some 500,000 square feet of public entertainment space includes a Renaissance-era village, 12 food outlets and a casino the size of four football fields, with 2,630 slot machines. Shows will have a medieval flair, with live jousting.
The Excalibur will give Las Vegas 75,000 hotel rooms. By comparison, Atlantic City's 12 major hotels total 8,100 rooms.