LV Sands selected for Chinese resort

Oct 18, 2005 5:30 AM

Just a few days after announcing it was terminating plans for one of its super casino complexes in England, Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) revealed it had been chosen for a major development in a Chinese city adjoining Macau.

The company said it had been chosen by the Shuhai Municipal People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China to plan a full-fledged convention based/lifestyle destination resort on the Hengqin Island, a project that will complement the company’s entertainment developments on the Cotai Strip in Macau.

The new development, the company added, will occupy more than 1,300 acres of land just one mile away from its Venetian Macau Hotel Resort casino.

"By providing unparalleled resort, recreation and convention amenities, Macau and Zhuhai can reap the rewards of the same strategy that has made Las Vegas the world’s top travel and tourism destination," said Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Sands.

Bill Weidner met with officials of the City of Zhuhai and Guangdong Province on Oct. 14 at the Hong Kong-Guangdong Business Conference 2005 in San Francisco at which time a document describing the scope of the development was signed. Las Vegas Sands said the company’s investment over three phases of the project will exceed $1 billion.

Last week, both LV Sands and the owners of Manchester United PLC said they had abandoned plans to build a casino on land close to the English soccer team’s Old Trafford stadium.

The two companies said they had opted to not tie up the resources necessary to seek a license and develop the property. However, it was noted that Britain had reduced the number of major casino licenses to be awarded to one and that the northwest England city of Blackpool was expected to get the license.

Manchester United, one of the most popular soccer teams in the U.K.’s Premier League, was recently acquired by U.S. businessman Malcolm Glazer for $1.47 billion. Glazer also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.