The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is a gorgeous sight and one that instantly makes you aware you’re in another world of excitement and wonder.

With so many wonderful shows like “Jersey Boys” and “Taylor Hicks,” thrilling nightclubs including Chateau Nightclub & Garden, an attraction that takes you inside the Eiffel Tower and the architecture and feel of a resort in Paris, the Paris Las Vegas is one of the most unique resorts in the city. It is the only one that can transport guests to Paris, France, while still providing the kind of entertainment Las Vegas is known for. It is because of this that Best of Vegas has decided to delve into Paris Las Vegas’ history and uncover how it came to be, its years of entertainment and why it is still one of the most popular resorts on the Strip.

The Paris Las Vegas opened on September 1, 1999 at 10 p.m. to a spectacular fireworks show displayed from the resort’s 540-foot Eiffel Tower. French actress Catherine Deneuve flipped the switch turning on the lights illuminating the tower. It is estimated that 35,000 people entered the Paris after a private party of 4,000 VIPs were treated to food and drink prior to the fireworks. Also in attendance for the opening was French film star Line Renaud, composer Michael LeGrand, Donald Trump, Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, and New Jersey Congressman Frank LoBiondo.

If you’ve ever been to the real Paris and visited a few of the city’s famed hotels you may know that the Paris Las Vegas’ main hotel tower is fashioned after the famous Hotel DeVille in Paris. The resort also contains replicas of the Paris Opera House, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Rue de la Paix shopping district. 

And while the Paris Las Vegas has an Eiffel Tower, it’s not quite built to scale. The original plan was to have an exact replica of the French landmark. But the Las Vegas resort is too close to McCarran International Airport, so the tower was scaled down to half to accommodate the planes coming into town. Another fun thing to note is the legs of the tower actually come into the main gaming area of the resort. 

Paris Las Vegas’ entertainment kicked off with a bang when the English version of the musical “Notre Dame de Paris” (Hunchback of Notre Dame) opened in the hotel in January 2000. Today, aside from the award winning show “Jersey Boys” and Taylor Hicks, the Paris lures in guests with R-rated comedy hypnotist Anthony Cools, and dueling pianists in Napoleon’s Dueling Pianos. 

The hotel has been featured in two films, “2012” in which the Paris, along with the rest of the Strip, is destroyed and “Resident Evil: Extinction” where the Paris has been buried in sand, along with the rest of Las Vegas, after a zombie apocalypse. One of the characters in the film climbs the Eiffel Tower replica to escape a horde of zombies.

After almost 15 years on the Strip, the Paris Las Vegas continues to impress and grab people’s attention not only with its amazing architecture but award-winning shows, restaurants and nightclubs. If you haven’t stayed at or experienced one of The Paris’ shows we suggest you do with discounted tickets right here on Best of Vegas.

Las Vegas, NV - 03/21/14

Photo: Alex Mateo