Las Vegas Sands, Fairmont Raffles Plan Macau Resort

Hong Kong (AP) — Gaming company Las Vegas Sands Corp. plans to develop and own a resort in Macau that will be managed by Fairmont Raffles Holdings International, the two companies said.

The resort will include 1,500 rooms, and be part of the Cotai Strip development on Cotai — an area of reclaimed land between the islands of Taipa and Coloane in Macau, the companies said in a statement issued late Tuesday.

The resort will also feature residential apartments, casino gaming facilities and retail space, the statement said.

„This completes our vision for the first phase of the Cotai Strip and we could not be happier with the quality of hotel companies that have joined with us in our pursuit of developing Asia’s Las Vegas,“ said Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands.

Fairmont Raffles Holdings International is owned by affiliates of Kingdom Hotels International and Colony Capital. It owns and operates hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel and Delta brands.

Las Vegas Sands owns and runs the Sands Macao, a casino on the city’s peninsula, and is developing other hotel projects on Cotai.

Macau’s economy has boomed in the past few years, driven by liberalized gambling rules and relaxed travel restrictions. The tiny island, about 40 miles west of Hong Kong, has attracted investors including Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Mirage.

Tourist numbers are set to rise further as several grandiose casino projects start operating from 2007 on the Cotai Strip, expected to become the city’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip.

Melco International Development Ltd. and Shun Tak Holdings Ltd. are also planning developments on Cotai.