Venetian Macao Opens

Macau, People's Republic of China -- The $2.4-billion Venetian Macao gaming resort opened here yesterday, an attempt by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. to replicate in Asia the financial success of its hotel and convention center in Las Vegas.

Like The Venetian, its sister-property, The Venetian Macao is a Renaissance-era, Venice-themed resort, with 3,000 all-suite guest rooms and one million square feet of retail space.

Meeting, convention, and exhibit space total 1.2 million square feet, more than twice the space of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The facility features the largest pillar-less ballroom in Asia and has the catering facilities to serve a five-course banquet to 15,000 guests.

The Venetian Macao also features the 15,000-seat Venetian Arena. The 1,800 seat Venetian Theatre is scheduled to open early next year with an original production from Cirque du Soleil.

William Weidner, president of Las Vegas Sands, called the new property "the first fully integrated resort in Macao.

"The Venetian Macao is truly a destination within itself," Weidner added, "and its presence will help Macao realize its future as a multi-day stay leisure and business destination for millions of people across the region."

The opening of The Venetian Macao also marks the opening of Las Vegas Sands' Cotai Strip, a collection of hotel properties to be operated by various hotel companies under brands that include Four Seasons, Sheraton, St. Regis, Shangri-La, Traders, Hilton, Conrad, Fairmont, and Raffles.

Las Vegas Sands will construct and own each of the hotels, as well as operate the casinos and entertainment venues in each hotel. At completion, the Cotai Strip properties will combine to feature 20,000 guest rooms, more than 3 million square feet of retail space, and nearly 30,000 seats for live entertainment.

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