Vegas Vanilla

It’s no secret that the Imperial Palace is about to get a new name, and though Caesars Entertainment hasn’t made an official pronouncement, all signs are pointing to “the Quad.” The name would be the third for the property since it opened as the Flamingo Capri in the late 1950s.

Caesars had no shortage of names in its tool kit: Most famously, it purchased the rights to use the Horseshoe name in Nevada when it bought Binion’s in 2004, but, eight years on, still hasn’t rolled the dice on a Horseshoe Las Vegas. Other names in the company’s portfolio include the Grand (a non-starter because of the down-the-Strip MGM Grand), Harvey’s, Showboat and Roadhouse. The Quad, though, would match the beer-pong vibe of O’Sheas, which will be reopened within the former Imperial Palace when Linq is unveiled next year.

It’s clear that the company doesn’t want to link (pardon the pun) the up-market Horseshoe name with the IP’s down-market room inventory, but it’s not so clear why the company isn’t reaching to the past (Flamingo Capri) or to its other brands. If O’Sheas is going to be part of the casino, why not just name the hotel O’Sheas? It would prevent confusion (“Meet me at O’Sheas, which is in the Quad, which used to be the Imperial Palace”), and it would make a virtue of the property’s long-deferred maintenance. Grunge would just be a continuation of that old O’Sheas charm.

But the uninspired Quad would fit a strangely vanilla industry trend: We’ve had a glut of alphabet-soup properties (M, D, and LVH) and nice-sounding nonsense names (Vdara). It seems that creating an actual identity is too risky; after all, you might choose the wrong one. Better to settle for safely generic syllables.

Time will tell if that’s a risk, too.

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