The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, new owners of the iconic Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, is completing final the touches prior to its reopening on April 27. On that date, the Palms will become the last major Vegas resort to emerge from the pandemic shutdown — and the first to have tribal ownership. Travel Weekly Las Vegas editor Paul Szydelko spoke with general manager Cynthia Kiser-Murphey on April 13, just 14 days before its reopening. The conversation was edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: What’s new since the property closed?
A: The beautiful sports book is completely new — new screens, new technology, a whole new seating and lounge atmosphere. We’re super-excited about that. It’s adjacent to our central bar, called Tonic Bar. And we’re creating a real energetic atmosphere around that.
Brenden Theatres has been completely energized. [We hired] a local graffiti artist to do all the hallways and floors. So the floor is like this cool tie-dye. We’ve refreshed the gaming floor significantly with a new layout and a really collegial kind of social atmosphere, yet in comfortable pods for the slot floor, and we’ve done some work on the table-game play [area], as well.
Cynthia Kiser Murphey Photo Credit: Palms Casino Resort
Q: And how about the rooms?
A: We have brand-new linens, and the rooms were beautifully, impeccably remodeled. The rooms are gorgeous with unmatched views. … We sit perched above the Las Vegas skyline. We have a perfect view of the Strip and then all the way south to Allegiant Stadium and north to downtown.
Q: Talk about the importance of San Manuel’s debut in Las Vegas.
A: The San Manuel tribe simply loves people, and that’s what they lead with: extreme commitment to the community, to the employees, to the visitors from Las Vegas and all over the world. Their commitment to people is just extraordinary, and it’s a game-changer for hospitality.
• Related: What to expect when the Palms reopens
Q: How will guests know they are in a San Manuel resort?
A: The expectation is that we built a leadership team who will treat our employees like family. We are going to project that friendliness to [everybody who] walks in the door because that’s who our tribe is. It’s about welcoming people. And really being in love with people.
Q: How have supply chain difficulties affected the opening?
A: All of our linen has arrived! That comes from out of the country. The minute we were licensed, we knew we were opening in an environment where supply chains are challenged across the world. Sheets and towels were ordered immediately. We also ordered our chips, cards and dice because those are unique. We’re very blessed in that we’ve had business partners and vendors from all over the country and the world work with us to help us get open.
Q: Since it opened in 2001, the Palms has been a hybrid, appealing to locals and tourists. Is that how is the Palms is positioned in 2022?
A: Absolutely. We are so excited to open the door to locals. Because half of our employees are returning, they tell us about the local customers who are excited about the Palms. There’s a strong locals market here, and there’s a real affinity for the Palms. … We’re only eight-tenths of a mile from the Strip and an easy drive. We have free parking, and it’s super-easy to get in and out from all directions. I believe we will welcome our share of visitors from everywhere.
Q: Anything else you’re really anticipating when the door open?
A: San Manuel’s Yaamava [in San Bernardino, Calif.] is known for having an extremely energetic gaming floor. And we’re working hard to create that brand of energy on our floor with some programming and activations.