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Jay Sarno, owner of the Cabana Motel chain, stopped in Las Vegas in the early 1960s while on a trip to scout a new location for one of his motels in Northern California.
Sarno, who wanted to build a large resort hotel someday, liked the cheap land and potential he saw on the Las Vegas Strip.
He decided to stay and build Caesars Palace, a resort that would set new standards for modern hotel-casinos, providing a mixture of opulence and overindulgence that many would come to view as a symbol of the Las Vegas strip.
Sarno's vision for Caesars Palace included a luxurious, Greco-Roman themed hotel-casino where customers would be pampered and feted like the Ancient Roman Emperor Caesar, hence "Caesars Palace," with no apostrophe.
He secured a $10.5 million loan from the Teamsters Union Central States Pension Fund, controlled by James "Jimmy" Hoffa, the corrupt Teamsters leader who was associated with organized crime.
In 1962, Sarno acquired thirty-four acres in the mid-Strip area, across from the Flamingo Hotel, from investor and former aviator Kirk Kerkorian.
Sarno's main partner in the project was his friend, Nathan Jacobson, of Baltimore.