Caesars makes 10.
With the announcement that Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the parent company behind Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, will open its first non-gaming hotel in the U.S. at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, there are now 10 new hotels in various stages of development in Scottsdale south of Camelback Road.
The 11-story hotel, called Caesars Republic Scottsdale, is the first in the company’s Republic line of hotels and will be located at the intersection of North Goldwater Boulevard and East Highland Avenue on the north end of the Fashion Square property.
The development team plans to break ground in the second half of this year and open the hotel in 2021.
“Scottsdale is a vibrant community that draws 4.5 million visitors a year,” Caesars Entertainment Chief Development Officer Marco Roca said. “Caesars Entertainment is confident that Caesars Republic Scottsdale will provide a truly unique and dynamic experience to both locals and guests traveling from afar.”
Roca, who said that the company had been in negotiations over the site for more than a year, said the availability of a desirable location adjacent to Fashion Square mall played a role in the company’s decision to launch its new brand in Scottsdale.
“The area is undergoing a transformation with new office spaces and upscale residences, giving us the perfect opportunity to bring Caesars Republic to locals and visitors,” he said.
The hotel will include a restaurant, coffee shop, fitness center and 266 rooms, including a mixture of standard rooms and one and two-bedroom suites. The 11th floor will have five luxury entertainment suites.
The average daily rate for the hotel is $285 per night, though that could vary by season and occupancy, said Rick Huffman, CEO of HCW Development, the company that will develop the hotel.
Additionally, the Caesars Republic Scottsdale will have several rentable areas for businesses, conferences, conventions and other events. The second floor will include five breakout rooms that can accommodate up to 40 people each and a ballroom with a 500-person capacity.
The ballroom will open up into a lawn that can accommodate up to 600 people for outdoor events.
Huffman said the hotel operations will generate approximately 200 jobs.
An amenity that is sure to rile some residents living adjacent to the property is the hotel’s rooftop pool and bar, which will be located on the seventh floor.
The pool will host yoga, Champagne events, weekend brunches and “lively afternoon energy year-round,” according to a Caesars press release.
In the past several years, events held at the rooftop pool at the W Scottsdale, located less than a mile from the new hotel site, and the pool at the new Hotel Adeline have rankled some local community members.
Debra Stein, a resident of nearby Optima Camelback, wrote to the City Council in 2017, stating she was troubled by the potential for a hotel at Goldwater and Highland.
“Most troubling is the noise which the W Hotel’s pool area creates for the residents who live nearby,” she wrote. “This location is a poor choice due to the surrounding property being residential.”
Huffman, the HCW CEO, said that the company plans to reach out to local residents who are concerned about noise issues.
“There is a noise level that must be monitored under zoning,” Huffman said. The bar is well above all neighbors’ heights at 80 feet and only the pool area is open. The bar itself is enclosed. We have a sound consultant on board to make sure we are achieving the results we want.”
Stipulations applied to rezoning of the Scottsdale Fashion Square site in 2017 indicated that on certain portions of the site “there shall be no exterior amplified music after 10 p.m., and 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays, at levels greater than 68 decibels.”
Those stipulations apply to the hotel site, according to city planning staff.
Some locals, particularly those in the nearby Optima Camelview community, may be unhappy with the height of the 11-story hotel.
The hotel is part of a larger development plan presented to the city by the mall owner Macerich in 2017, when the company sought zoning changes that allowed for building heights of up to 150 feet.
The City Council approved the rezoning case on Aug. 29, 2017 on a 5-2 vote.
The City Council report on those zoning changes indicated the hotel would feature 200 rooms, 33 percent less than the 266 rooms announced by Caesars.
The development plan also indicated the mall site could eventually house multifamily housing, a grocery store, commercial office space and an additional 100,000 square feet of retail.
At the time, eight residents spoke out against the rezoning, which was approved by the city.
The bulk of complaints came from Optima residents concerned that a 150-foot building nearby would block their views or otherwise negatively impact their community.
Not everyone was against the project, though.
Around 20 people showed up to the meeting to speak in favor of the mall rezoning, many of whom lauded the developments made possible by the rezoning as a future revenue boon for the city.
“From the perspective of the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association, this is a hugely impactful redevelopment that will help sustain the future of public safety for this community, which I think everyone agrees is vitally important,” said Sasha Weller from the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association.
When the hotel comes on line in 2021, it will undoubtedly face stiff competition.
As it stands, there are now 10 developments featuring hotels in some stage of development in southern Scottsdale, including seven in the downtown area alone.
Those downtown projects include Museum Square, Don & Charlie’s Hotel, WaterView Edition Hotel, Winfield Hotel and Residences, the Canopy by Hilton planned for Marshall Way and Second Street and the Southbridge Two development proposed along Fifth Avenue.
The Don & Charlie’s project has already received City Council approval, and the Museum Square development will go before the council in April after going before the Planning Commission in March.
The other projects are in earlier stages of development.
If all are completed, those downtown hotels, including the new Caesars Republic, would add over 1,600 hotel rooms to the area.
Whether or not all of these hotels will be built is an open question.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Scottsdale Planning Director Tim Curtis joked in a 2018 interview with the Progress, when asked how many of the planned hotels in the city would actually be built.