Wynn to start construction of Cotai Strip $3 billion resort

May 15, 2012 3:00 AM

Steve Wynn calls it “The best thing he’s ever done…The work of our lifetime.”

Too bad it won’t happen in Las Vegas.

Macau’s Cotai Strip is where Wynn has been approved to begin construction of a resort that will probably have an eventual price tag of better three billion dollars by the time it opens about three and a half years from now.

This project’s long-term benefit for Las Vegas is that the earnings at this new project will eventually find their way back to Nevada where they may finance continued improvements at the Wynn-Encore complex.

Wynn anticipates his new creation – it does not yet have a name – will appeal to people around the world; what he thinks of as an “explosion of pent up demand for the good life.”

Asia, he notes, is one of the very few places in the world where current spending levels make this kind of project look like a smart business decision.

The better than one billion dollars in first quarter EBITDA earned by Sheldon Adelson’s resorts – most of it coming from Macau and Singapore casinos – say more than words can about the rationale for continued big spending on Pacific Rim resorts such as those coming to life along the Cotai Strip.

Wynn said, “We want to show the public in Asia and around the world something new. We have had the benefit of watching competitors upgrade and improve their designs over the six years we’ve been in Macau.”

So the time has come, he implies, to apply those lessons. “The price of poker has gone up in China.”

Wynn believes non-casino spending will surge as a result of what he’s building. His existing 52,000 square feet of retail space in Macau is generating yields of “around $40,000” per square foot at stores such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton.