July 22, 2003—Las Vegas Sands Inc. (L.V.S.I) owner and operator of The Venetian Casino Resort and its subsidiary The Grand Canal Shoppes (collectively, “The Venetian”), is a hotel, gaming, and retail mall company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Company owns and operates through subsidiaries, The Venetian Casino Resort and The Grand Canal Shoppes, located on the Las Vegas Strip, Venetian Interactive, an internet based venture, and Venetian Macao Limited, a developer of multiple casino hotel resort properties in The People`s Republic of China`s Special Administrative Region (S.A.R) of Macao. Las Vegas Sands, Inc. develops multi-faceted “destination resort-style” entertainment establishments which cater to multiple market segments by offering a myriad of amenities and services, creating synergies with the local communities and energizing the markets in which it invests.
Today, Las Vegas Sands, Inc. has unveiled their plans and strategies for The Venetian`s mega tourism development in Cotai, in between the two islands of Coloane and Taipa in Macao, S.A.R. Macao consist of a peninsula connected to Mainland China and two islands, all interconnected with bridges and avenues. Together with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the group`s exclusive real estate advisor for this project, The Venetian is creating a development in Cotai a synergy of world-class attractions that will generate hotel demand for Macao.
This vision from the American entrepreneur Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson, owner, Chairman and C.E.O of Las Vegas Sands, Inc. said: “We are honored to share our vision for Macao and Cotai. It is important that Macao know our long-term commitment to their community and the diversification and expansion of their business development by transforming Macao into the premier destination resort in Asia. We will create a Las Vegas-style strip in the heart of the territory in Cotai, anchored by Las Vegas Sands, Inc.`s brand The Venetian Macau, which will deliver the ultimate resort, entertainment and convention product. Las Vegas Sands, Inc. will bring to the Cotai strip the glamour and excitement of The Venetian Las Vegas, with the beauty of baroque Venice—the canals, gondolas, singing gondoliers and other legendary Venetian icons. Our development truly serves as an anchor to help provide traffic to Cotai as well as contain demand drivers to fill the strip, for example, exhibition and convention centres”.
The Macao Government is supportive of The Venetian development plans for the Cotai strip. Mr. Jaime Roberto Carion, Director of Lands, Public Works and Transport, Macao, stated in an open letter to potential investors “The Macao Government is committed to a long term vision which will see Macao develop into a strategic gateway tourism destination for the People`s Republic of China and the Pearl River Delta Region. The Government will provide its assistance by appointing a special team of officials to assist potential investors with securing of the relevant planning and other approvals to ensure a successful outcome for the potential investor in its investment of capital in the Macao S.A.R.”
The Cotai strip is reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, the international airport is 90 seconds from the Cotai site, as is the 12,000 seat Macao dome which will be ready for the 2005 East Asian Games, and the new immigration center.
Las Vegas Sands, Inc. master plan which has been developed by world recognised masterplanners, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (“SOM”) envisaged as the largest destination resort in the Asia Pacific region with the development of 20 mega resorts, 60,000 rooms, exhibition and conference facilities, theatres, showrooms, shopping malls, spas, dozens of Chef restaurants and entertainment facilities including casinos.
Mr. Peter Barge, Chief Executive Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle, Asia Pacific said “Stage one will focus on the development of eight land parcels, including the mega-resort of The Venetian as an anchor property, the 1,500 room all suite Venetian Macau with supporting demand generators including meeting and conference halls, exhibition and convention centre, a world-class arena, casino floor, showroom, theatres, fine dining restaurants, spa and a large shopping mall with additional dining amenities, all under one roof.”
The Cotai strip is a master planned development from the ground up. It is built on a Las Vegas development model and is anchored by the true Las Vegas Mega Resort. It is a promise of quality entertainment and will offer a choice of highly recognized hotels with familiar brands. It is estimated that between 5 to 10 billion US dollars will be invested in the development on the Cotai strip.
“The Cotai strip is well positioned to accommodate the travel demand from China and the Asia Pacific region. Last year alone, Macao entertained 11.9 million visitors, of which 4.24 million were generated from the mainland” said Mr. William Weidner, President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands, Inc.
“The opportunity of the region is nothing short of fantastic,” continues Mr. William Weidner, “within a two hour flight of Macao, over a billion people reside. Within a five hour flight of the Macao, three fifths of the world reside”.
“Macao`s local market is the Guangdong province and the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River Delta is an economic engine, fuelled by the powerhouses such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other manufacturing industrial cities in the Pearl River Delta. Macao peninsula, is connected by one main bridge near Dongguan, a development talk of a primary bridge between Hong Kong and Macao driving more economic growth to the West side and the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River Delta is the economic driver of the Guangdong Province. There are over 90 million people in Guangdong and nearly 50 thousand foreign direct investment enterprises. 34 percent of China`s exports were generated in Guangdong and foreign trade was over 194 billion U.S dollars in 2002. It is becoming more integrated and becoming an economic powerhouse”.
“The real key for Macao is the cross border liberalization; in which the Central Government is allowing people to cross the border into Macao from Guangdong Province”, says Mr. William Weidner.
Mr. William Weidner believes that the future growth of Macao will be as a resort destination ensuring `long term stay` of the visitors, since there`s no resort destination in China.
In the mean time, for the `day trip` market, The Venetian Macau is developing an urban casino Las Vegas Sands, on Macao peninsula, separate from the future development on the Cotai strip. Las Vegas Sands, scheduled to open in early 2004.
Las Vegas Sands is strategically, located near the Macao ferry terminal, the existing casino and entertainment district, providing it access to a large and growing customer base. “There is a real sense of excitement in Macao about Las Vegas Sands` development. The excitement is certainly very measurable, in a city of only 450,000 people and 213,000 total workforce, “over 43,000 people showed up for our initial job-fair, that`s an indication of the kind of excitement, interest and the potential success for development in Macao,” said Mr. William Weidner.