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Venetian expansion boosts its standing

Nov 19, 2002 6:17 AM

   A $250 million expansion at the Venetian is pushing it past five other Strip hotels, making it the third largest resort in the world.

   A 14-story tower of 1,013 suites is going up atop the south side parking structure to bring the total room count to 4,049. That pushes the Venetian past the Las Vegas Hilton (3,174), Flamingo Hilton (3,638), Mandalay Bay (3,700), Circus Circus (3,770) and Excalibur (4,008).

   Only MGM Grand (5,034) and Luxor (4,467) are bigger.

   But Sheldon Adelson & Co. say it’s quality, not quantity, that’s driving the Venetian’s latest expansion.

   “The new tower [scheduled to open next June] will set a high water mark for luxury resort hotels,’’ said Venetian President Rob Goldstein.

   Goldstein said new rooms will be even more expansive than the 700-square-foot suites already named “the largest standard hotel rooms” by the Guinness Book of World Records. The new dimensions range up to 5,500 square feet.

   Rated one of the top 20 hotels in North America by Conde Naste Traveler, the Venetian is growing on other fronts as well. Among the new amenities:

”¡ A lavish pool deck themed after a Venetian garden.

”¡ 150,000 square feet of additional meeting space.

”¡ A new restaurant concept by one of the “nation’s top chefs.’’

   Venetian execs are keeping the restaurant and its chef under wraps for now. Details, they say, should be forthcoming by year end.

   Meantime, with the added meeting space, the Venetian Congress Center and adjoining Sands Expo will encompass 1.8 million square feet. Floor plans offer 174 flexible individual meeting rooms and a dozen ballrooms.

    “The Venetian is a place where business and pleasure mix,’’ Goldstein said. “Your suite is both your workspace and your retreat.’’

   Goldstein also noted that 122 of the 1,013 new suites offer “even higher levels of personalized attention with private access.’’ The Venetian’s accommodations have earned a Four Diamond rating from AAA and a Four Star designation from Exxon-Mobil Travel Guide.