The visionary François Blanc, founder of the Société des Bains de Mer, transformed it completely within three years; he built the Casino and, a mere ten metres away, the Hôtel de Paris. Opposite the hotel, horses and their carriages were tucked away in the stables. Yet more changes were on the way... a fountain was constructed in the middle and palm trees were imported from Bordighera. The only thing missing was a really good café so, in 1868, the Café Divan was opened. The Place du Casino's design was now complete.