Think you know what makes a good casino suite? Well, the good folks at the El Cortez think you might, too, so they’re inviting you to design a suite for them–if you’re an interior designer, architect, or part of a team with at least 1 member licensed in Nevada. Here’s the press release:
he El Cortez Hotel & Casino, in conjunction with the Las Vegas Design Center, is launching a one-of-a-kind design competition in which local Las Vegas interior designers will remodel several of the hotel casino’s luxury suites. The “Design A Suite Downtown” competition began on Monday, June 7 with a call for entries to all interior designers, architects and teams with at least one member licensed in the State of Nevada.
The purpose of the competition is to engage the local interior design community and showcase their creativity, while setting a new design standard for the tower suites of the legendary El Cortez Hotel & Casino. The top four finalists will have the opportunity to make their design come to life by redesigning one suite each. One winner will be selected from the final four and that individual will have the opportunity to remodel the remaining suites, which will be unveiled during the iconic hotel casino’s 70th anniversary celebration in 2011.
“In May 2009, we opened our El Cortez Cabana Suites to add a touch of South Beach flair to downtown Las Vegas, and this year we think the design competition will be another opportunity to continue the revitalization of downtown by giving local interior designers a key role in the redesign of our hotel suites,” said El Cortez General Manager Mike Nolan.
“Las Vegas has a rich and unique architectural history and we are thrilled to be a part of the revitalization of downtown and one of its most iconic hotels,” said Randy Wells, vice president of Las Vegas Design Center. “This competition fosters an appreciation of great design, not only by showcasing the talents of our design community, but will also manifest itself as a more luxurious experience for guests of the tower suites.”
A distinguished panel of judges will jury the design submissions and name the top four. The panel includes: Cary Vogel, the former Vice President of Interior Architecture at Pinnacle Entertainment, who has been designing high-end residences in Las Vegas for more than 25 years; Kurstin Schmitz, Principal at Urban Design Associates, Inc., whose designs can be found among the most notable hotels, resorts and casinos in Las Vegas, including Caesars Palace, The Palms, The Flamingo, Harrah’s and Mandalay Bay; Ann Fleming, who owns Cleo Design and continues to set the bar higher in both residential and commercial design; Todd-Avery Lenahan, Principal of ABA Design Studio; Alexandra Epstein, Executive Manager with the El Cortez; Kenny Epstein, CEO of the El Cortez and Pamela Puppel with the El Cortez.
Also, Brian Thornton with Brian G. Thornton Designs played an instrumental role throughout the process of organizing the “Design A Suite Downtown” competition. His interior design expertise and knowledge, along with his vast connections within the interior design community, were pivotal in creating contest guidelines and forming the judging panel. Thornton was the former Director of Design for MGM Mirage’s Design Group in Las Vegas where his duties included overseeing day-to-day operations of the studios and oversight of design leadership at several of their Strip properties.
Entries should be clear, unique designs that demonstrate an innovative use of new or conventional materials and traditional or emerging techniques. There is a $150 tax-deductible entry fee that will be donated to Keep Memory Alive with each submission. Participants will be given a $20,000 budget and some materials used in the design will be sourced from Las Vegas Design Center and World Market Center Las Vegas showrooms. Particular attention will be paid to innovative ideas for materials and comfort. Judging will be focused around uniqueness of design, technique and execution and the use of items from World Market Center. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, July 22.
All participants must be willing, able and available to participate in phase two of the competition to help guide the El Cortez in the implementation of their design, should they be selected as a finalist. All designs must be original to this competition having never been built or proposed for another project.
Entries must be anonymous and be accompanied by at least five but no more than eight images of the design, a total of four elevations, a reflected ceiling plan and a narrative brief that is no longer than 300 words. The image and brief should include no references to the names of individual designers, design firms, schools, or companies. All contact information should be submitted using the standard entry form. Entry forms and complete contest details can be found at http://www.designasuitedowntown.com.
Like most of the stuff they’re doing down at the EC, this is a great idea. They’re building excitement for the new suites months before they open.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out, and can just about guarantee that there will be a Green Felt Journal column about this.