The success or failure of The Londoner Macao and Four Seasons could dictate whether similar upgrade works are carried out on Las Vegas Sands’ other Cotai Strip properties, including The Venetian Macao.
The comments were made by LVS Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein during Bernstein’s 37th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference this week at which he discussed the company’s COVID-19 recovery and future expansion plans following the recent sale of its Las Vegas assets for US$6.25 billion.
Goldstein has previously stated that LVS would be happy to spend another US$10 billion in Macau despite nearing completion of the US$2 billion transformation of Sands Cotai Central into The Londoner Macao.
The makeover has included replacing the 1,200 room Holiday Inn Macao with the 600-suite Londoner Hotel and adding an additional 370 suites via Londoner Court, as well as theming the entire property, in order to better address the lucrative premium mass customer segment.
Should the concept prove successful, Goldstein explained this week, similar changes could be coming at The Venetian Macao and The Parisian Macao.
“I hope [that’s the case],” he said. “I hope we do so well at Four Seasons and Londoner that we want to go back and spend more money and capital. I mean you always want to upgrade. Depreciation is a real number.
“We’re big believers in Macau and our future so nothing would be more pleasing. Parisian is a pretty successful product. Could it be better? Things can always be better.
“If Londoner blows the doors down and the Four Seasons does its job I’d love to go back and rethink how to make The Venetian better. Although a product that made US$6 billion before COVID was not a bad little hotel, we can always enhance it and do better.
“And at The Parisian there are always things you can do too, so let’s see if we are right about our optimism, and if we’re right about it we’d like to go back and spend more money in Macau. It’s still the best land-based market in the world.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing works on the property’s façade have made it difficult to assess performance since its February opening, Goldstein suggested The Londoner Macao could potentially compete on the same level as its long-time Macau flagship The Venetian.
“It’s at the epicenter of Macau, it has almost 6,000 keys,” he said. “We never got visitation from mass at the old product – it never had that appeal for mass from a retail and gaming perspective. The Londoner product could be awfully good.
“I don’t think people have given us much credit for what could happen in Macau [when border restrictions ease]. When the border crossings are eased back to pre-pandemic levels we think our portfolio is much enhanced from the investment that we’ve made.”
LVS President and COO Patrick Dumont was similarly bullish on The Londoner’s prospects of generating higher returns than it did as Sands Cotai Central.
“We think when Macau returns our gearing will be better to actually produce better cash flow with a better mix of customers than we’ve ever had before because of the quality of the product and the results in the room product and all the amenities around it,” he said.