Polishing the Palazzo

If you’ve been in the vicinity of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands Avenue lately, you might have noticed some work being done on the Venetian/Palazzo megacomplex. Several weeks ago, the letters spelling PALAZZO on the spine of that resort came down, and there’s been some painting on sections of the Venetian.

Back in June, VegasTripping.com—which recently broke the news of the Aria Legionnaire’s
disease outbreak hours ahead of everyone else—speculated that the work at the Palazzo might be the beginnings of a dramatic re-theming of the property, with the Palazzo brand eased out and the Venetian repainted to match the Palazzo.

Without any official word from Las Vegas Sands, owner of both resorts, anything seemed possible.

So what’s going on?

The Palazzo brand isn’t going anywhere, a Venetian spokesman says: The letters are going to be replaced by 14-foot LED letters that will give the tower a bit more oomph after sundown. Construction crews have just started putting the new letters in place, and the project will be finished by mid-August. Folks tooling down Sands Avenue after dark will be able to see the Palazzo like they’ve never seen it before.

The Venetian itself will get the LED treatment in September, but the resort, which opened in 1999, will retain its familiar look: there’s no color change in the cards, though the building is getting a routine repainting, simply to retain a fresh look. The crews will be done by the end of August.

That’s not the only cosmetic change. The attractive (as such things go) building wrap that recently went up around the unfinished stump of the would-be St. Regis condo tower is an acknowledgement that even though we won’t be seeing that project completed anytime soon, Las Vegas Sands is committed to maintaining its curb appeal.

At a time when the Strip has made “deferred maintenance” (analyst-speak for “we can’t afford to keep the place looking spiffy,” best exemplified by the faded balloon at Paris) its watchwords, Las Vegas Sands is investing some money in keeping up appearances. That should count for something.