The Venetian Macao is the largest single structure hotel building in Asia and the third largest in the world with 10,500,000 ft.² of floor space and was built at a cost of $2.4 billion. As the name suggests it is located in the largest casino belt in the world which is Macau, China. The hotel is part of a massive project which is still yet to be completed even though the main hotel tower has been available since July 2007. The hotels and casino resort were the brainchild of Sheldon Adelson who is the multi billionaire owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino company.
The Venetian Macao development
The Venetian Macao is more than just a hotel and probably best described as a casino resort in the Chinese enclave of Macau. It is based on its sister resort in Las Vegas which is also called The Venetian although the Macau version is far larger and cost substantially more to build.
The main hotel tower was finished in July 2007 and officially opened in August 2007 offering 3000 suites, 1,200,000 ft.² of convention space, 1,016,000 ft.² of retail space, 550,000 ft.² of casino space with over 3400 slot machines (spread across the whole resort) and a 15,000 capacity seating arena for entertainment and sports events. The Venetian Macao offers by far and away the largest casino in the world today.
The casino area
The casino area is divided into a number of themed gaming areas known as the Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix. While the Venetian Macao resort hosts over 3400 slot machines there are in excess of 1000 slot machines in the casino area itself as well as a massive 600 gaming tables which are open 24 hours a day seven days a week.
As you might expect from a casino which is by far and away the largest in the world, the hotel offers a VIP club by the name of the Paiza Club which offers high roller facilities to premium guests who will literally spend billions of dollars a year in the casino in the future. The club itself has its own entrance, lobby, reception area and a team of butler. Gaming rooms within the Paiza Club are named after Asian cities such as Yunnan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
As well as the casino operations for the rich and famous they also have access to an exclusive dining area is which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week serving the best food and the finest wines and drinks available.
Accommodation in the Venetian Macao
The main hotel tower is like nothing ever seen before with the first 7 floors exclusively set aside for staff, kitchens and various service areas although there are still 3000 suites available which include a number of multi-bay penthouses for those where money is no problem.
The accommodation area stretches from floor 7 to floor 38 and these areas alone are served by a massive 250 guest lifts which in themselves must create a record for any hotel in the world. There are five main types of accommodation which includes the Royale, Bella, Riato, Hospitality parlor and the exclusive Paiza suites. The size of the accommodation ranges from 750 ft.² for the Royale and Bella standards to a massive 12 bay-suite with four bedrooms, adjoining bathroom, media room, large living and dining area together with a butler’s pantry for the Pazia suite. Two of the bedrooms associated with the Pazia suite also come with their own massage room.
The staffing area
When you consider that the Venetian Macao Hotel itself requires a workforce of 1000 staff around the clock this is a massive venture and the staffing area itself consists of a McDonald’s, McCafe, Internet corner, 7-Eleven store, laundry store, TV lounges and a massive staff cafeteria and games room where employees are able to unwind.
The credit crunch
While the hotel itself is finished there are many other projects in the resort which are ongoing although unfortunately the credit crunch has hit owner Las Vegas Sands very hard and the company is literally on its knees. Despite receiving a multi-million-dollar emergency loan from CEO Sheldon Adelson only a few months ago, the company was forced to go back to shareholders and raise a further emergency loan to see it through the short term.
While the short-term prospects for the group have picked up of late there are concerns that unless we see a major revival in the casino sector, Las Vegas Sands may be forced to abandon or at best delay much of the remaining development of the Venetian Macao resort. Such was the impact of the credit crunch that the company was forced to abandon ongoing work on 12 November 2008 when the gates were locked to literally thousands of construction staff with 11,000 workers losing their jobs overnight.
The group has also been forced to lay off approximately 400 staff from the Venetian Macao Hotel as costs are being put to the bone to try and secure the long-term future of the group. While there are plans to open a number of other hotels in the Venetian Macao resort and make available a further 20,000 hotel rooms at a cost of $12 billion, again these plans are under threat as the worldwide credit crunch continues to impact upon life in the Far East.
Problems at the Venetian Macao
When the Venetian Macau Hotel opened in August 2007 the first weekend saw massive problems with housekeeping and double booking issues grabbing the press headlines. It seems that despite the investment of $2.4 billion into state-of-the-art equipment and computer systems this was anything but a smooth opening for the world’s largest hotel and casino operation. Perhaps the fact that the Venetian Macao Hotel is one of the few hotels in the Far East to have a floor 13 could be behind this bad luck?
The Venetian Macao Resort and the Venetian Macao Hotel itself have to be amongst the largest projects of there kind ever built anywhere in the world. The investment of $2.4 billion into the hotel and casino operation will be dwarfed by the eventual $12 billion investment into the resort if Las Vegas Sands is still around to complete the project. However, no matter what happens in the future there is no doubt that the Venetian Macao casino resort and hotel will be a major presence in Macau itself for many many years to come.