Wynn mulls Ferrari hotel

May 9, 2006 4:57 AM

Wynn Resorts is in talks to open a hotel under the Ferrari brand name as part of its planned Macau casino resort development.

Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Wynn disclosed the negotiations during a teleconference with analysts about the company’s first-quarter results last week.

Gradually, Wynn Resorts has been crystalizing its second project in the enclave, a resort complex that would sit next to the City of Dreams development amid the mega-casinos currently under construction between Taipa and Coloane islands area of Macau.

Wynn promised to put his cards on the table by the next quarterly call.

Phase one of his first Macau project — the $1.1 billion Wynn Macau casino hotel in the shadow of the Lisboa Hotel on the main peninsula — is slated to open September 5.

The company said in March that it had applied to the Macau government for a 21.9-hectare site on the Cotai Strip to develop four hotels, three with casinos.

"I’m talking to Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari, and we’re talking about doing one of our hotels as a Ferrari hotel," Wynn said.

Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip already has an onsite Ferrari dealership that can be visited for a $10 admission fee. Wynn said that the showroom sells more Ferraris than any other dealership in the world.

Late last year, Italian sports car maker Ferrari signed a deal with United Arab Emirates developer Aldar Properties for a Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi. The development is to open in 2008 and include a racetrack, rides, hotels, shops and homes.

Wynn signaled last week that his Cotai project will also include convention halls.

"A very aggressive convention program is going to be part of our land use," Wynn said. "We share some of the other companies’ views that Macau has a bright convention future and that we will be able to sustain large amounts of midweek occupancy with groups that will come to Macau for meetings and conventions."

Late last year, Wynn had said his Cotai hotels would ring a mall, adding that conference centers rarely generate much profit and that he just needed to set up his project near hotels’ halls.

Rival Las Vegas Sands is developing 1.8 million square feet of meeting space in its Cotai resorts.

Wynn said that the completion of the second phase of the Wynn Macau had been pushed back a quarter to the end of 2007 to allow more time to fine-tune its design after the first phase opens.