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They’ve Seen it All: Caesars Palace Year-One Employees Remember 50 Years of Grandeur

Last updated: August 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm. Posted by in Caesars Palace, Caesars Palace 50th Anniversary, Las Vegas Casinos, Las Vegas Hotels. 2 Comments on They’ve Seen it All: Caesars Palace Year-One Employees Remember 50 Years of Grandeur.

Caesars Palace 50th Anniversary Group Photo

Caesars Palace year-one employees Benny Figgins and Jim Dunbar, Caesars Palace General Manager Sean McBurney, year-one employees Pamela Price and Peter George.

Take a look at your resume. How long have you been with one company? Caesars Palace celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer alongside five employees who have worked at the famed resort and casino since year one. That’s half a century with the same employer!

These loyal employees have seen it all from dealing blackjack to Diana Ross to catching Frank Sinatra cleaning up from a food fight. This year-one crew has witnessed the property grow and reinvent itself to stay at the forefront of luxury and elegance throughout their five decades of loyal service.

Jim Dunbar – Valet

Year One Employee Caesars 50th Anniversary

Jim Dunbar receives his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Valet attendant Jim Dunbar started at Caesars Palace on August 4, 1966, the day before it opened. When asked about the best car he’s seen over the years, Dunbar replied: “Some of the newer cars we have are just really nice like the Lamborghinis and the Ferraris and we do get those every day. I would rather park a Ferrari than a Rolls Royce really but a Rolls Royce is nice too.”

One of Dunbar’s most memorable moments involved Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. “One night when I walked into the restroom, Frank Sinatra was in there with his buddy and they had been having a birthday party. They had a cake made out of whipped cream and they got into a cake fight and had cake all over them and they were laughing and trying to get it out of their hair. It was funny.  When Frank was here, there were always things happening. They played jokes on each other and things like that.”

Dunbar came over from Flamingo 50 years ago and has never looked back. “I’m at the top of my game here. They are always planning new things. This hotel never got old. It got better all the time and that’s one of the reasons I stay here.”

Benny Figgins – Dealer

Year One Employee Caesars 50th Anniversary

Benny Figgins receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Benny Figgins could be called a dealer to the stars. “My most memorable encounter would have been with Harry Belafonte. I dealt to him and spent a lot of time with him. I dealt to Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross and Joe Louis.”

Like Dunbar, Figgins hasn’t felt the desire to leave because Caesars Palace keeps on getting better. “Caesars Palace is just like a family to me. I met my wife here and we’ve been married for 40 years. The people are just so nice here, the management, the staff and all my co-workers. There’s been steady improvement.”

Pete George – Banquet Server

Year One Employee Caesars 50th Anniversary

Pete George receives his Lifetime Achievement Award from former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Banquet server Pete George began his career in the Circus Maximus showroom serving dignitaries and icons. “I used to get calls and I would go to the delicatessen to get food to bring to Frank Sinatra’s room. He was a very easy-going guy. One time when we were setting up the tables, Sinatra was waiting and I tipped the cream over. I got scared. Sinatra said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just put a napkin over it and let it go. Don’t worry about it.’ Elvis Presley used to come in all the time to see Tom Jones. Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross, Petula Clark all came. All the big stars used to come here.”

Pamela Price – Dealer

Year One Employee Caesars 50th Anniversary

Pamela Price receives her Lifetime Achievement Award from former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Dealer Pamela Price started at Caesars Palace when she was young and has never worked anywhere else. “It was the place to go. My mother marched me in here when it had just opened and it was just the place to be. I started in the coffee shop. When I could, then I became a cocktail waitress. They didn’t have female dealers at that time. My boss said they were bringing in female dealers and said to become one so here I am. I went to dealer school while working here at the same time doing cocktails. When a female dealer no longer worked here, I took her place.”

When asked what has kept her here so long, Pamela said, “I never thought of leaving! I don’t want to retire. Caesars Palace is my home. Loyalty goes with your job.”

Come meet these employees and see their loyalty in action when you visit Caesars Palace. Check out the new self-guided photo tour map to help you snap some essential selfies and touch “The Five Lucky Spots” around the property while celebrating its golden anniversary as Caesars Palace turns 50.

Caesars palace turns 50

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About The Author

Allison came to Las Vegas over a decade ago and fell in love with the city and all its dining and entertainment options. A live music junkie and tequila enthusiast, she has written for Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Sun, Vegas Magazine and Conde Nast's VegasChatter.

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2 Responses

  1. Jonathon Bartlett

    What an exciting and fun thing to do to recognize these employees. They should feel so proud and honored for their accomplishments. It’s difficult to stay at any company through its ups and downs. I’m so glad Caesars honored them. Congratulations to all of you on your 50 year anniversary (employees and company)!!

  2. Cyndi McCarty

    What a great company to recognize their loyal employees. I am staying a Caesars Palace in September. It will be an honor to meet them.