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Venetian set to unveil ‘Venezia’ tower

May 6, 2003 4:13 AM

In just a few weeks, The Venetian will unveil its new 1,013-suite tower, and in the process become the world’s fourth largest hotel.

Up from its existing 3,036 guest rooms (all suites), The Venetian’s 4,049 suites will vault the Venice-themed resort from ninth to fourth on the list of world’s largest hotels.

Of hotels in the United States., only the MGM Grand (5,005 rooms) and Luxor (4,408 rooms) have more guest rooms.

The new "Venezia" tower is part of a $275 million expansion project that also includes a lavish pool deck with lush gardens, fountains, swimming pool, three spas and ornate gazebos.

The new tower will also be home to new restaurants, and the hotel’s first wedding chapel.

Much like the existing guest accommodations, the new suites will average more than 700 square feet and feature 9-foot ceilings, private bed chambers with draped canopies, 130-square-foot bathrooms finished in Italian marble and sunken living room.

Some of the standard amenities of the suites include high-speed Internet access, data ports and fax machine, fully-stocked mini-bars and two 27-inch TV sets.

The expansion also includes 150,000 additional square feet of convention and ballroom space.

Although many properties in Las Vegas are experiencing a slowdown in hotel occupancy, Venetian hotel officials said the new tower will help fill a need, especially for business travelers.

Bill Weidner, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, parent company of The Venetian, said "the additional capacity will add

high-margin rooms without significantly increasing overhead costs."

The "high-margin" rooms already demand the highest rates in Las Vegas. The hotel’s average daily room rate of $217 is expected to increase with the more luxurious rooms contained in the Venezia tower.

And with a hotel occupancy of nearly 98 percent for the quarter that just ended, The Venetian "anticipates a further increase in margins in future operations," Weidner said.

Even with its tower opening only weeks away, Weidner said The Venetian is currently in the process of designing "our second Las Vegas mega-resort on land between The Venetian and Le Reve," Weidner said.

"Our friend Steve (Wynn) is investing a lot of money in the property next to us that makes the value of our property explode," Weidner said.