Miriam Adelson played major role in growth of LVS

May 7, 2012 7:43 PM

She’s a practicing medical specialist but that’s not what has made her a multi-millionaire (billionaire?). It’s the fact that she is the wife of Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), and a major stockholder in the company.

Not unlike Elaine Wynn, who stood side-by-side with her ex-husband, Steve, while guiding Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) to its gaming heights, Miriam Adelson has played a major role in the growth of her husband’s company.

Take the company’s Las Vegas Strip flagship, the Venetian:

“One day I told him (Sheldon) I want to do Venetian. Venice is a romantic city. Bring the romantic atmosphere from Venice, with that look and combine it with the luxurious feeling in Las Vegas, you can have a winner, and he listened,” she remarked last week while sharing personal thoughts on her life with her husband during an interview on the TDM Talk Show in Macau.

Venice was where the couple spent their honeymoon, she explained, so obviously the Italian city will always remain as a special place in their hearts, she said.

“We picked the beautiful places there and we put them in front of the hotel, kind of combined them as a building and the rest is history,” she added.

Even today, Miriam Adelson expresses her opinion on company projects.

“I see big changes in Macau; from a city that just had boxes of gambling it became a city that has business people, entertainment, restaurants. I still remember when we came here, we had water – just water, so don’t ask where’s the land, they’re all under the water,” she related of her first visit to what has become the world’s biggest gaming venue.

“Now people are coming to rest for the weekend, sometimes families come with their kids to the pool. People are coming to do shopping, coming to conventions. You have more business people coming to the city,” she said as she described Macau’s growth.

“Macau (now) is famous, and the image of Macau now is very positive, it’s a growing city, a business city and not just gambling,” she said.

Despite her involvement with her husband in the casino business, Miriam Adelson remains a practicing medical doctor, specializing in internal medicine and treating patients with drug addictions. That is something she never wants to give up, she says.

“I love medicine. One time when you study medicine, from love of this profession, to science, to the human body, to human soul – you’re in this subject forever. To be a doctor is not just a profession, it’s also a character. You need to be compassionate to understand the patient, to feel for them. It’s a part of me, and I don’t feel I want to give it up. I will probably never retire…(and) neither will Sheldon.”

As for her husband, she said it was not easy being the wife of the 14th richest man in the world, according to Adelson’s ranking in Forbes’ magazine.

Despite the hardships, she said, it was her husband’s character that drew her in.

“For me,” she said, “I adore him. I admire him…I think he’s brilliant, he’s honest, he’s very honest, a very ethical person, it’s my life experience to live with him.”