Clifford Perlman, former president of Caesars World, died last month at the age of 90. Perlman and his brother Stuart bought the three-year-old Caesars Palace in 1969 from founder Jay Sarno for $60 million and immediately transformed the troubled property, growing the hotel from 550 rooms to 1,750. Under his leadership, Caesars Palace signed international stars to appear in the showroom, was the location of several blockbuster movies, and launched a sports legacy with title fights and championship events.
“Clifford Perlman was a visionary who took Caesars Palace to a new level,” said Gary Selesner, current president of Caesars Palace. “He recognized the potential of Las Vegas with that expansion. During his 13 years running the property, he pushed it forward in so many ways, and many of those strategies with the movies and expanding all started with him. He did do much for the Caesars Palace brand, but a lot of these things were key for Las Vegas becoming the international destination and place where you went for luxury and to have fun.”
Perlman’s great contribution, however, might be the attention of Wall Street for Las Vegas. Caesars Palace became so profitable under his leadership that lenders began to sit up and take notice. In fact, Aetna became the first public company to invest in a casino under Perlman’s watch.
Perlman was inducted into the AGA’s Gaming Hall of Fame in 2007.