- "He [Marty] walked past the 'Hill Valley - A Nice Place to Live' sign. It was riddled with bullet holes. / The Courthouse had changed, too. Someone had turned it into a hotel — and what a hotel! It looked like something straight out of Las Vegas, full of neon and glaring lights. / Marty couldn't believe it when he read the sign: / BIFF TANNEN'S PLEASURE PARADISE / Biff Tannen? Marty thought. The Biff Tannen? / But there was more to the sign, flashing one after another: / HOTEL / RESORT / CASINO / GIRLS / And that wasn't all! Right in the middle of the sign was a huge portrait of Biff, lighting a cigar with a hundred dollar bill. / It was bright! It was garish! It had absolutely no taste! It had to be the same Biff Tannen!"
- —From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, pages 107 and 108)
- "You're safe and sound now, back on the good old 27th floor."
- —Lorraine Baines McFly Tannen
Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel was a casino and hotel founded and owned by Biff Tannen following his spectacular gambling winning streak, which was actually the result of being given Grays Sports Almanac by his older self in the 1955 of the alternate 1985 universe. It was located in the same spot where the Hill Valley courthouse once was (although it still had some of the original building as part of it, including the non-functioning clock tower, possibly to save some money during construction).
It consisted of twenty-eight floors of hotel space, with a casino located on the main floor and a museum dedicated to Biff himself. The Marty McFly of regular 1985 was shocked when he saw the entrance to the museum, and even more horrified when he found out that Biff had married Lorraine in 1973. It appeared to be a very popular place, as Marty saw dozens of motorcycles parked in the casino and hotel's parking lot, and quite a few more on their way there, though at the time there was a bikers' convention taking place. The effects of 1985A were eventually reversed, and the Pleasure Paradise faded into nonexistence.
Among the other places in the huge hotel/casino, there was a room where a jacuzzi and television were located, where Biff watched A Fistful of Dollars on the same night that Marty McFly traveled to 1985 hoping to be home, but instead found out that he had traveled to "Hell Valley". It had a flat roof where Biff confronted Marty on the night of October 26, 1985, after Marty attacked him in an attempt to run for his life after Tannen was about to shoot him following a conversation about Gray's Sports Almanac, in which Biff kept his older self's advice about shooting a "crazy, wild-eyed scientist or a kid" that would show up asking about the book. Also, Marty's room was on the 27th floor, although he had been kicked out of at least two boarding schools, and probably didn't spend a lot of time there. As of October 1985, the latest boarding school he went to was in Switzerland, as determined by Biff's furious statement to Marty when he found out he had returned. The steps leading up to it had a red carpet down the middle of them, suggesting the luxurious setting. Above the entrance there was a big neon illustration of Biff using a burning $100.00 bill to light a cigar, and at the top of the building, neon lit up the word 'Biff's' in bright blue.
The Pleasure Paradise was set in Hill Valley, California, a regular-sized town probably in the northern section of the far-west US state of California. It was located in the Courthouse Square downtown, and was on the same plot of land the courthouse and clock tower were before it was constructed. Although Hill Valley was originally a quiet neighborhood, it quickly became a bustling town that attracted a wide variety of people — mainly because of the casino. In 1979, the high school burnt down, and the library was shut down by 1985, encouraging crime to come to the town. For example, former principal Mr. Strickland was shot at from a car by a group of teenagers, possibly Douglas J. Needles and his gang. However, Strickland had a large shotgun kept inside his house that he used to fire back at them. Overall, the casino/hotel started in a small town, but later was located inside a well-populated urban area.
- "You see this book? This book tells the future. It tells the outcome of every major sports event till the end of the century...football, baseball, basketball, horse races, boxing... the records in this book is worth millions, and I'm giving it to you."
- —Old Biff Tannen
On the crisp afternoon of November 12, 1955, the older version of Biff gave the Grays Sports Almanac to himself, after overhearing a conversation between Emmett Brown and Marty McFly, in which he discovered the invention of a time machine, and later stealing the DeLorean and traveling 60 years into the past. After his conviction of the book's future origin was strong, particularly after the UCLA vs. Washington game, young Biff took the book. A while after that day's encounter, Biff took his older self's advice and bought a safe, where he kept the almanac securely locked up.
On his 21st birthday, a trip to the race tracks made him a millionaire, and his lucky winning streak began. In 1979, Biff successfully legalized gambling. Following that, construction on a grand hotel and casino began — thus the Pleasure Paradise was born. Replacing the 94-year-old courthouse, which had a clock tower that had not operated since 1955, Pleasure Paradise probably opened in 1980. Hill Valley was now a center of organized crime and gang warfare although, by 1985, the casino/hotel was immensely popular.
- "Go ahead kid, jump! Suicide'll be nice and neat."
- —Biff Tannen
After Marty ran away, Biff started shooting at him. Marty was pursued by Biff's bodyguard — his 1955 gang of Match, Skinhead, and 3-D — and later by Biff himself. When he saw the three rush down a metal staircase, he glanced over at the door to the roof, saw that it was just closing, and went onto the roof. There, he encouraged Marty to jump off, then told him that he had killed Marty's father, George McFly, and stated that, if he failed to commit suicide, he would have shot two McFlys with exactly the same gun, also saying he supposed it was some sort of a poetic justice.
Full of hate, Marty jumped the 30+ plus stories — or at least in Biff's mind. Much to his surprise, Marty had landed on the DeLorean time machine, and Emmett Brown lifted the driver's gullwing door of the car, hitting Biff on the head and knocking him out. Then, at the time of 2:42 a.m., they traveled to 1955, where they retrieved the sports almanac from young Biff after an encounter with a D. Jones Manure Handling company truck.
After that, 1985A was nonexistent, and the luxurious casino/hotel became the dull, century-old courthouse once again, and the powerful millionaire known as Biff Tannen changed back into the grumpy, middle-aged auto detailer he was before Doc and Marty's trip to 2015. However, due to a malfunction in the DeLorean Doc got sent back to 1885 when the time machine was struck by lightning, and Marty had to rely on his scientist friend's 1955 counterpart if he were ever to enjoy the world free of Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel.
Timeline of events
- November 12, 1955 — Biff Tannen receives Grays Sports Almanac as a gift from his older self; after the next four events have been lived, it is retrieved from him, negating those events and moving the Pleasure Paradise into nonexistence.
- March 28, 1958 — Biff begins to put the almanac to use, first successfully betting on a horse race he attends on his twenty-first birthday.
- March 15, 1973 — Biff secretly murders George McFly — who is due to receive a book award — at the Hill Valley Community Center. The crime is never solved due to the Hill Valley Police Department being owned by Biff.
- Precise date unknown, 1979 — Biff legalizes gambling; construction on the casino/hotel begins.
- October 26, 1985 — Marty McFly causes trouble around Biff and heads back in time.
- October 21, 2015 — Old Biff Tannen gets Gray's Sports Almanac after overhearing a conversation between Marty and Doc Brown concerning it.
The following is a list of known residents of Pleasure Paradise as of October 27, 1985:
Behind the scenes
- The hotel tower of the Pleasure Paradise was based on an existing casino, the Plaza in Las Vegas. Shots of a 9-foot model of the casino were digitally combined with the Courthouse as filmed on the Universal Studios Backlot, and scenes of the penthouse, stairwell, and rooftop were filmed either on stage or somewhere else.
- When Marty is watching the documentary on Biff's life at the entrance to the museum, there is a still shot of Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. In the DVD commentary, Bob Gale stated that it was a still shot of Tannen's early makeup test, and that the look was changed before Back to the Future Part III came out.
- In Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization, the Pleasure Paradise is referred to on a couple of occasions as 'Pleasure Palace' (pages 129 and 136).
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future Part II novelization
- Back to the Future Part II & III
- Super Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future: The Card Game (Mentioned only)