IAG OCTOBER 2016 web - page 11

October2016
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asiangaming
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and billions more in hotel, food and beverage, entertainment and
retail sales.
“Before our very eyes, Macau is making the transition that
Las Vegas made over 75 or 80 years” to a broader based tourist
destination,Mr Adelson said, withCotai andLVS leading the charge.
“The government ispushingour competition todonon-gaming, but
theywill have trouble catchingupwithus.”
The Parisian joins Sands China’s Venetian, The Plaza/Four
Seasons and Sands Cotai Central at the heart of Cotai.MelcoCrown
is the only other operator with frontage along Cotai’s 1.5 kilometer
central north-south artery, Estrada do Istmo. When the footbridge
connecting Parisian to Four Seasons opens, Sands China will have
under one roof seven hotel brands with nearly 13,000 guestrooms –
58% of current Cotai keys – plus 800 retail shops covering 202,000
squaremeters (2.16million square feet), five casinoswithmore than
1,300 tables and 5,000machines, a 15,000 seat arena, two theaters,
dozens of gondolas and 150,000 squaremeters ofMICE space.
“Wehavebeen trying togrow theMICE,”MrAdelsonadmits, calling
thebridgeconnectingMacau toHongKongandZhuhai akey“catalyst”
forMICE.When that bridge iscompleted, perhaps in2019, “Macauwill
have theequivalent of twoairports,with 100carriersserving 180cities,”
the 83 year old billionaire says, referring to international hubs inHong
KongandMacau. “That isgoing tohaveadramatic impact.”
On the development side, Sands China has nomore Cotai land
to build on. That ledMr Adelson to remark, “There doesn’t seem to
be toomuchmore growth there,” widelymisreported as expressing
pessimism about Macau, when he was really lamenting Sands
China’s lack of new opportunities inMacau. “We had six lots here.
We coulddo sixmore – and this timewe’ddo them faster.”
Sands China had preliminary government approval for another
prime Cotai site, Lots 7 and 8, south of Sands Cotai Central and
across the street from The Parisian. But authorities rejected Sands
China’s formal application for the land in December 2010, marking
the nadir of their relationship. Earlier that year, Mr Adelson accused
ChiefExecutiveFernandoChui of renegingonapurporteddeal struck
with his predecessor Edmund Ho for Sands China to sell its Four
Seasons apartments.
Since then, relationshavewarmed.MrAdelsonandMrChui chatted
amicablyat theSandsCotai Central opening inApril 2012. In June2013,
thegovernment announcedanagreementwithSandsChinaon thesale
of theFour Seasons apartments, thoughmore than three years later no
transactionshavebeen reportedand the tower remainsdark.
At the same time, the dusty Lot 7 and 8 site remains an eyesore
with scant sign of progress toward the government’s pledge of non-
gaming development. Mr Adelson’s unabashed plea for land is a
reminder that Cotai remains the future of Macau gaming, where
every operator wants to be. Just a glance tells you Sands China has
the biggest andbest pieceof Cotai.
“Apre-opening socialmedia
campaign, plus the completedEiffel
Tower creatingbuzz for11months
before theresort’sdebut, produced
big crowds for theopeningand solid
hotel bookings for the integrated
resort’searlyweeks.That said,
Parisianofferswaymore thanhype.”
Cover Story
in a 40 second elevator ascent, cost MOP$168 (US$21) for adults
and MOP$138 for children during the week, up to MOP$188 and
MOP$158onweekends. But the real power of the tower seems tobe
as abackdrop for photos.
“No one has believedmore or investedmore inMacau’s future
as a leisure andbusinessdestination,”Mr Adelson said at Parisian’s
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