June 23, 2005
Image Courtesy Las Vegas Sands/
As if Las Vegas developers werent
expanding their own citys offerings quickly enough,
now one of them is preparing to build a copy of the Vegas
Strips Venetian Resort on Macau, a Chinese island off
of Hong Kong.
The 10.6-million-square-foot, 3,000-room
hotel and casino is being developed by Las Vegas Sands, and
like the original, will feature replicas of Venice landmarks
like the Doges Palace, the Rialto Bridge, and several famed
palazzos. It will be roughly three times the size of the Vegas
version. HKS principal Jeff Jensen, whose firm is designing
the project along with Wilson and Company, says the complex
will be, like a Venetian on steroids.
The resort will include over 1,500 feet
of retail-lined canal, which is three-times the length of
the Vegas version. Its 500,000-square-feet of gaming is five
times the area of the original, and the complex will also
contain a 15,000-seat arena. Jensen says that his clients
chose this tested theme instead of one of the modern designs
that many Vegas developers are using. We said, why
recreate the wheel?
Macau was once a Portuguese colony, and
has long been the center of Chinas gambling world, but
until recently has been rife with crime and poverty. Developers,
mostly from Las Vegas, are hoping to change that by developing
the Cotai Strip, a line of high-end casinos. which
is being master-planned by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and
EDAW (RECORD, October
2003, page 38). The market looks strong. Jensen says that
when his clients Sands casino opened on Macau, visitors
literally tore its doors off.