Kerzner International Limited (NYSE:KZL) (the “Company”) today announced the appointment of veteran hospitality executive George Markantonis to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, the planned destination resort and vast water-theme park, which is expected to extend the Atlantis brand into one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. The first phase of Atlantis, The Palm is an estimated $650 million development project that is expected to include a 1,000-room luxury hotel and water-theme park situated on 1.5 miles of newly developed beachfront. Mr. Markantonis will join the Company in March as part of the executive team reporting to the Company`s Chief Executive Officer, Butch Kerzner.
Mr. Markantonis was most recently Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the flagship hotel casino of Caesars Entertainment, Inc.
“We are pleased to have a person with George`s background in hotels and destination resorts to take on this major responsibility. George will serve as an integral link between the development planning phase of this project and the ultimate opening of the resort which is expected to be in 2007. Atlantis, The Palm will be the anchor of one of the most exciting travel and leisure opportunities in the world and we believe George is ideally suited to operate this amazing project. As Dubai grows as a destination, Atlantis, The Palm will serve as a platform for the continued growth of the Atlantis brand,” said Butch Kerzner.
“This is an exciting time to join Kerzner and to oversee what I am certain will be a magnificent property in Dubai,” said Mr. Markantonis. “In less than ten years, the Company has created a powerful brand in Atlantis, attracting customers from all over the world. Dubai is an ideal location for the second Atlantis because of its wonderful weather, great beaches and its central location between Asia and Europe,” he added.
Prior to joining Caesars Palace, Mr. Markantonis worked for Westin Hotels and Resorts for 16 years in South Africa, Canada and the United States. He is the recipient of multiple industry and community awards for his efforts in the hospitality arena and was recently honored with the prestigious “Hotelier of the Year” Award in 2003 from the State of Nevada.
Kerzner International Limited (NYSE:KZL) is a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels. Kerzner`s flagship brand is Atlantis, which includes Atlantis, Paradise Island, a 2,317-room, ocean-themed destination resort located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Atlantis, Paradise Island is a unique destination resort featuring three interconnected hotel towers built around a 7-acre lagoon and a 34-acre marine environment that includes the world`s largest open-air marine habitat and is the home to the largest casino in the Caribbean. Kerzner also developed and receives certain revenue derived from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, which has become one of the premier casino destinations in the United States. In its luxury resort hotel business, Kerzner manages nine resort hotels primarily under the One&Only brand. The resorts, featuring some of the top-rated properties in the world, are located in The Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius, the Maldives and Dubai. Further One&Only properties are either underway or in the planning stages in the Maldives and South Africa. For more information concerning Kerzner and its operating subsidiaries visit www.kerzner.com.
In September, 2003, Kerzner announced an agreement to form a joint venture with Nakheel LLC, an entity owned by the Government of Dubai, to develop Atlantis, The Palm, the first phase of which is expected to be an approximately $650 million development to include a 1,000-room resort and an extensive water theme park situated on 1.5 miles of beachfront. Atlantis, The Palm will be located at the center of The Palm, Jumeirah, a $1.5 billion land reclamation project in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.