Monday, January 08, 2007

Caesar's Palace and the Forum Shops

The Forum Shops at Caesar’s has three reasons to visit. First, it (they?) lies between the Mirage attractions (see post below) and the Bellagio attractions (see fountains below and a future post). Since you will be going from one to the other, you will not have to go out of your way. Also, during the summer, it is MUCH better to walk in the air conditioned shops than in the heat of the strip.

The second reason is the Forum Shoppes host the only Bank of America ATMs on the strip. For cheap-skates like myself, saving $2-5 on ATM charges is worth the walk.

Finally, these attractions can be a lot of fun. We will start our tour coming from the Mirage, past the miniature Trevi Fountain and into the newest part of the shops. You will immediately see the double-helix escalators taking shoppers up and down through three levels. I’m no engineer, but I’ll bet this baby involved a little high math in its design.

You will recognize many of the names on the shops, and they won’t be Sear’s and Penney’s like the mall back home. The stores in the shops include Bvlgari, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Valentino. Is there an Italian theme here? Be sure to stop in and check out the prices. Wow!

Once you’re done strolling, move to the casino level (third level, I think) and head down through the mall. There is only one way, so no worries about getting lost here. You soon come to the Festival Fountain that is dominated by Bacchus. Bacchus and his friends come to life (animatroinicaly speaking) at the top of each hour. It is free and fun, though I think that the mechanisms that run the characters are a bit worn and the laser part of the show is a bit dated.

There is a second show in the Shops in an hour, so now would be a good time to eat if you are hungry. The next fountain that you come to is the Fountain of the Gods, but that is not the attraction. This area is interesting in that the lights cycle every hour to simulate a complete day. During the time it takes to eat lunch you will feel the sky darken and see the street lights come on. After a while the process will reverse itself. Most shoppers will hardly notice.

Continue on Fountain of the Gods to the Atlantis Show and Aquarium at the next fountain (2nd picture in this post). This animatronic show is more dramatic than the Bacchus show with fire leaping from the fountain. The 50,000 gallon salt-water aquarium sits behind the fountain. There is a free tour of the aquarium that includes a ray and shark pool. Feeding time is the highlight of the day. Check the schedule for feeding times. I wouldn’t waste 45 minutes waiting on this show, but if you enjoy shopping or aquariums, it’s worth the time.

Once this show is done, head back to the Fountain of the Gods and take a right. Here you will usually find Pete Rose signing autographs. Be sure to stop and say hello. Get a picture if you like. Maybe even by a baseball signed “I’m sorry I bet on baseball, Pete Rose.” He is a nice guy despite betting on baseball. Continue in the same direction into the casino.

The last recommendation I’ll make while at Caesar’s is the poker room. Like my Venetian tour, this Is to see the poker room, not to play poker. The room is located in the casino between the sports book and the night club Pure. You’ll get there by walking through the casino bearing to the left toward the huge TV monitors of the sports book.

BTW, this is a great place to take a break. The chairs in the sports book are very comfy. Each one has its own monitor and the restroom is located right beside the entrance to the neighboring poker room.

But back to the poker room. The hallway leading into the poker room is lined with original LeRoy Neiman oil paintings. Neiman is the most recognized sports artist. Once inside the poker room, there are more great sports painting and photographs unlike anything you will see anywhere else. You will also notice one of the nicest places to play poker in existence.

Once you are done in the poker room, keep heading in the same general direction to a door and back to the strip. While heading south toward the Bellagio (my next post), you will walk past the fountains in front of the main entrance. In 1967, this is where Evil Knievel F’ed himself up attempting to jump them on a motorcycle. You’ve probably seen the footage where he is tossed over the handlebars like a rag doll. F’ed up in this case means a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist and both ankles, and a concussion that kept him in a coma for 29 days. Mike Metzger jumped the same fountain with a backflip in May of 2006.

Next stop, we’ll tour the inside of the Bellagio. Chao.


Anonymous said...

Been there, done that but how in the world do you remember all that? Thanks for the tour, brought back some great memories! N ~ Charlotte ;)

Special K said...