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Former Las Vegas Maxim's New Owners Start Facelift

It's been years now that no one, dubbed the "cheers of the city" in TV and radio commercials in the 1980s, raised a glass at Maxim. But these days, the glass is being smashed at the closed Flamingo Road hotel-casino, just east of the strip. Now the new owner of the building is modernizing the nearly 25-year-old building in preparation for its scheduled July 1 debut with the 'Westin Casualina Hotel and Spa.'

Since December, workers have been removing internal furniture as well as Maxim's signature glass facade. Richard Kannapell, the sales regional director for Sussex, Colombia, said the project is now in the "removal phase," in combination with some outside work that has gradually brightened up the site. "We're basically cleaning the whole building," said Kannapell, whose privately owned Kentucky-based company took over the hotel in September
38 million dollars.

In the coming weeks, Maxim's outdoor signage will be replaced with a modified display that includes the Westin logo. In addition, the model room will be available to the public at the end of February.

When opened, the new hotel-casino will include an all-new 11,000-square-foot spa as well as an expanded 10,000-square-foot conference space, Canapel said. Westin's trademark "Heavenly Bed" and "Heavenly Bath" features will also be included, respectively
a hotel room.

The remodeling will also increase the total number of rooms in the property from 795 to 825. While the company has not confirmed the rate structure, Cannapel has estimated that rooms will be rented from $50 to $199 per night, depending on the season and the day of the week
during the week.

Unlike some Las Vegas landmarks that are out of their prime, Maxim was not considered an insider because Columbia Sussex thought Maxim's option would have been too expensive and time-consuming. "We want to open this year. If we had to expel it and empty the place, we wouldn't have been able to open until at least July 2004," said Canapel.

Columbia Sussex operates about 60 hotels in the U.S. and several overseas markets, including Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Taho and sister hotel Westin Casuarina Realty on Grand Cayman Island, Kanapel said.

A casino management company in Sussex, Columbia, will operate a new Las Vegas casino, which is expected to open in July with a hotel. Canapel, which covers less than 15,000 square feet, said the casino will serve as an amenity rather than a hotel's main attraction.

Westin is a division of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a hotel chain headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., that operates more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries. In Las Vegas, the company previously owned Caesars Palace and Desert Inn, but has not had a presence in Nevada since selling Desert Inn to casino developer Steve Wynn.

Located at 160 E. Flamingo Road, the 795-room Maxim opened in 1979, closed in November 1999, and reopened the following month without casinos.
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Thursday, February 1, 2024
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