Caesars Palace looks to make a home in Times Square

This redevelopment project would come as New York City begins its return to pre-pandemic life

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, October 21, 2022
Caesars Palace looks to make a home in Times Square
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Caesars Palace Times Square would provide a boost to the economy and an increase in security in Manhattan. Darla Miles has more.

TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The times, they are a-changin', and soon maybe Times Square will too: the newest Caesars Palace might make its debut in the heart of Manhattan.

Famous as a staple on the Las Vegas strip, Caesars Entertainment said Thursday that it is working with a New York developer to bring a casino to 44th and Broadway.

SL Green Realty Corp. and Caesars Entertainment announced a proposal to redevelop 1515 Broadway as a premiere entertainment and gaming destination in Times Square.

New York State has approved licenses for three full-service casinos to operate in the city, so Caesars is hoping to get one of them.

Caesars Palace Times Square would provide billions in tax revenue to New York City and the state.

"We believe that Times Square offers the best location for a new resort casino that can attract tourists and benefit local businesses," said Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green.

If the license is approved, Caesars Rewards members would be able to use their credits at local restaurants, hotels and more. Caesars Palace Times Square would even include a Broadway Theater for 'The Lion King.'

Holliday also said, "Our approach will ensure that under-represented communities benefit both in terms of employment and investment opportunities."

On top of the economic benefits, SL Green and Caesars say they will increase security in the area.

According to former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, the proposal, "...goes beyond routine, in-house security and would invest millions in a new public-private safety initiative. This investment will ensure Times Square is safe for years to come."

In addition to security, the two companies proposed traffic improvements in and around Times Square in an effort to boost Mayor Eric Adams and the NYPD.

This redevelopment project would come as New York City begins its return to pre-pandemic life.

Jeffrey Bank, the president and CEO of the restaurant group that operates Carmine's and Virgil's BBQ, said, "It is time for us to reinvest again - Times Square is the beating heart of New York, but everyone in Times Square is still hurting from the pandemic. The Caesars Palace proposal is the key to bringing tourists back, making Times Square safer, and is exactly the economic driver we need to not only recover but continue to grow and create more jobs."

This economic boost would match the ethos of Times Square.

"A casino in Times Square is in keeping with existing uses in the area," Holliday said. "Times Square is the center of the entertainment universe. Because we are proposing a renovation, once the license is issued, we can open quicker than other facilities, which require entirely new construction, changes in law, and will be disruptive to their local communities."

In turn, Times Square would support the mission of Caesars as well.

"As one of the largest mobile sports books in New York, Caesars is passionate about New York itself," said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars. "Caesars is also deeply invested in New York-based restaurant groups, chefs, and entertainers from across the Empire State."

The Broadway League does not endorse the casino, saying it will overwhelm the already densely congested area and would jeopardize the entire neighborhood whose existence is dependent on the success of Broadway.

Caesars has more than 50 casino properties and is the largest gaming operator in North America.

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