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The Venetian Announces Sale of the Grand Canal Shoppes

The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino announced today it has agreed to sell the
500,000 square foot Grand Canal Shoppes, and the multi-level retail space
in its proposed Phase II resort, which will sit adjacent to The Venetian.
The sale is subject to standard closing conditions and is expected to
close on or about May 17, 2004.
General Growth Properties, Inc. will pay $766 million for the existing
Grand Canal Shoppes. In addition, on the Phase II retail space, General
Growth will pay a six percent capitalization rate on the first $38 million
of net operating income and eight percent thereafter, leading Venetian
executives to believe the total agreement could be worth approximately
$1.4 billion.

“Since our Phase II property is budgeted to produce the same-type of
financial results as The Venetian, it is reasonable to assume that total
proceeds could reach or exceed $1.4 billion,” said William Weidner,
president and C.O.O. of Las Vegas Sands, Inc., The Venetian’s parent
company. “General Growth Properties sees the long-term benefit of helping
develop Las Vegas’ premiere resort destination with us, and we are
extremely pleased to have them be a part of developing that destination.”

The announcement of the mall sale coupled with the May opening of the
Sands Macao, the impending groundbreaking on the Phase II property, and
the recent financial performance of The Venetian, has the company poised
to become one of the most dominant players in the gaming industry.

“Clearly, this kind of cash transaction gives our company tremendous
financial flexibility,” said Weidner. “We could use this cash infusion to
pay down indebtedness, finance our second mega-resort in Las Vegas,
continue our expansion efforts in Macao, or pursue any other opportunities
that may arise. The options before us are endless.”

Weidner said the Phase II property will feature more than 3,000 new
suites, and when combined with The Venetian, will house more than 2.3
million square feet of meeting area with six additional ballrooms and 315
conference rooms. The two resorts will combine to feature 30 world-class
restaurants, eight swimming pools, and two versions of the Canyon Ranch
SpaClub, named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s finest.


While ownership of the Grand Canal Shoppes will change hands, Venetian
executives are quick to point out that the mall will still be housed under
The Venetian’s roof. “By attracting more than 13 million visitors per
year, The Grand Canal Shoppes clearly plays an important role in the
overall success of The Venetian,” said Brad Stone, executive vice
president of Las Vegas Sands, Inc. “On top of the financial freedom this
sale gives us, we are fortunate that we will continue to benefit from
having one of the most successful retail venues in the country located
within our walls.”