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The Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is finally getting a hotel for its weary gamblers. The Sands Hotel at the Sands Casino Resort will have 300 guestrooms, 16 executive suites and not one, not two but six presidential suites.
Like its glitzy Vegas cousins (The Venetian and The Palazzo), The Sands Hotel will have an Emeril Lagasse restaurant (supposedly a new Italian concept from the chef) and guests will have access to the multiple bars and lounges in the casino.
But unlike its greedy Vegas cousins, the Sands Hotel will have free WiFi. Free. We know, it's hard to believe our good fortune this week. First, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, now The Sands Hotel in um, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Could Las Vegas Sands Corp., of Venetian fame, really be bringing a giant clutch of casino-resorts to Spain, a country where unemployment now tops 20 percent? Yes, at least according to chairman Sheldon Adelson, who told reporters late last week, "I want to do a mini Las Vegas." He suggested the overall price tag for the development would be €10-€15 billion, but there's not yet a timetable for the project.
The company is already in talks with governments in Barcelona and Madrid, and Valencia and locations along the Costa del Sol are also on the Sands' radar for the 20,000-room super-project that Adelson claims could create as many as 180,000 jobs.
He appears to be serious about this! And while it seems unlikely that the Spanish would be rushing to gamble at new casinos and fill additional rooms in an already weak market, Spain does offer one thing that Las Vegas and Macao don't: proximity to English punters.
Hotels often host "test guests" in the pre-opening stages so they can try out everything in the rooms and public spaces before the real paying guests show up. While last December we were jealous of the folks who got to test Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas before it opened, we're now even more jealous of the 2,000 folks currently shacking up at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which officially opened phase one of its massive complex today (at the feng shui approved time of 3:18pm.)
Today's opening included 963 hotel rooms, parts of the shopping mall and convention center, a few restaurants and bars, the Event Plaza and the most important part of all--the casino.
Rendering of the St Regis Tower (left) and the two Sheraton towers.
Both of these hotels were due to make a big splash on the Cotai Strip in Macau in the next two years as the Sheraton was to be the largest hotel on the strip with over 4,000 rooms (!!) and the St. Regis would have about 800 units, evenly split between luxury residences and hotel rooms.
Both hotels are well into construction, so the unfinished projects will be eyesores for people of Macau for who knows how long. The Las Vegas Sands has not given a timeframe as to when construction will begin again, only hinting that once "financing becomes available on acceptable terms" will they resume construction. Apparently all that extra money they raised last week wasn't for these developments.
Hotel Woes / Hotel Construction / Viva Vegas / Hotel News / Las Vegas Sands / Sheldon Adelson / → All Tags
There's a lot to be blue about in Las Vegas.
Last week the Las Vegas Sands (owners of the Venetian and Palazzo and a few other big hotel-casinos) made the semi-shocking announcement that they were nearing bankruptcy and today another blow came to the Las Vegas Strip courtesy of the LV Sands--construction on the St. Regis condo tower which borders the Venetian and Palazzo and is owned by the LV Sands has been halted. Globe Street reports:
In the US, Las Vegas Sands has stopped work on a $600-million, 400-unit, high-rise condominium tower it was developing on the Las Vegas Strip, in front of its new Palazzo resort, but will complete the retail podium....It will consider recommencing construction when conditions improve, at which point it would take 18 months to complete the project.
Uh-oh. Guests staying in the Palazzo or the Venetian might have ghost town construction site views from their rooms. Much like we had of the halted Echelon project from the Trump Tower. Eeeek. Vegas, Get Better!
· The Venetian and the Palazzo Might Go Bankrupt But Room Rates Aren't Dropping [HotelChatter]
· Snapshot :: Echelon's Construction Ghost Town [HotelChatter]
While things look gloomy in Atlantic City, things are even worse in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Sands, the casino company that owns Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas as well as the Venetian in Macao, is facing mountains of debt and could declare bankruptcy, according to Bloomberg News. The sole reason? The properties are simply not generating enough money.
We think the woes may also be traced back to the Palazzo which opened late and got off to a bad start. Throw in the high-end luxury shops that no one is shopping in anymore (including the glorious Barneys New York department store), the fancy expensive meals people are forgoing and the construction of a third Palazzo tower, which will now be a St. Regis, it's no wonder the Las Vegas Sands is having tough times.