O’Sheas to raise final toast to current home on Strip

O’Sheas Casino will end its current existence on the Strip at noon Monday.

Roughly 14 hours later, the real action begins.

The 22,000-square-foot standalone casino, which does not have hotel rooms and opened in 1989, is being demolished as part of the construction for the $550 million Project Linq. The retail, dining and entertainment development, being built by Caesars Entertainment Corp., is anchored by a 550-foot observation wheel and is expected to open in 2013.

A scaled-down version of O’Sheas will become part of Project Linq.

Renderings released by Caesars show the new O’Sheas as a connection between the Imperial Palace – which will be renamed and renovated – and Project Linq.

O’Sheas will have its centerpiece bar, a few table games and an area designated for beer pong tables. The renderings show an Irish pub theme.

The current casino – which has 453 slot machines, 45 tables, a poker room, a food court and tattoo parlor – gained a reputation as the Strip’s home for a game more commonly found in college fraternity houses.

“The new O’Sheas will have some of the elements that its customers enjoyed,” said Caesars Regional President Rick Mazer. “And beer pong will be included.”

Until the new O’Sheas opens, Mazer said beer games would be moved down the Strip to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon.

An extended alcohol-induced, weekend-long “Final Countdown” closing celebration begins Saturday, with O’Sheas offering customers discounted memorabilia, live entertainment and drink specials. By lunchtime Monday, when the booze runs dry, the casino will cease operations.

A few hours later, at around 2 a.m. Tuesday, the old Flamingo parking garage behind O’Sheas will be imploded to make way for Project Linq.

The new O’Sheas location will be directly across from the Flamingo, essentially where the current parking garage begins.

Mazer said initial development had already started for the observation wheel’s footings, parking and a power plant. The porte-cochère at the Imperial Palace will close soon and the main entrance will be rerouted.

Demolishing the parking garage and the closing of O’Sheas are the most public signs that Project Linq, which is modeled after The Grove in Southern California, is moving forward.

“We need time to get everything of value out of O’Sheas and secure the building before the implosion,” Mazer said.

O’Sheas employees are being placed in jobs at other Caesars hotel-casinos.

Source:  HOWARD STUTZ, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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