No bet is bigger than Caesars' Linq project, a $550 million dining and entertainment destination located between the company's Flamingo and Imperial Palace hotels in the center of the Strip. Almost $20 billion in debt after a 2008 leveraged buyout, Caesars borrowed $450 million at 9.25 percent to fund Linq and a new tower at Caesars Palace across the street, according to filings.
Caesars expects as many as 4 million visitors to ride the High Roller in its first year at a price of about $25, according Jon Gray, the vice president in charge. Guests have already asked to be married in the ride's 40-person pods. It will open in the second quarter of 2014.
"Today, it's hard to push up room rates," said Los Angeles mall developer Rick Caruso, a consultant to the project. "You've got to find other revenue streams."
— With assistance from Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles.