MGM in Macau

Plans announced for new waterfront resort

By: Judi Erickson

The MGM Mirage has announced plans to develop a $975 million waterfront resort and casino in Macau, adding yet another luxury development to an area that is quickly becoming the casino “Strip” of Macau.

The MGM Grand Macau, next to the planned Wynn Resorts development and near the city’s well-known Lisboa Hotel and casino, will feature 600 rooms, suites and villas, a casino including 300 table games and 1,000 slot machines, several restaurants and entertainment facilities. Scheduled to open in 2007, the resort also will have nearly 50,000 square feet available for future expansion.

“MGM Grand Macau will be a world class facility. The resort will welcome guests with a dramatic atrium and offer the superlative hotel, entertainment, spa, dining, retail and convention facilities for which MGM Mirage is famous the world over,” Terry Lanni, chairman and chief executive of MGM Mirage, said in making the announcement.

Construction is set to begin in the second quarter of 2005, with the property owned and jointly operated by MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho Chiu-king, managing director of Shun Tak Holdings Ltd., a leading Hong Kong-based conglomerate operating core businesses in shipping, property, hospitality and investments.

In recent years Macau, on the western bank of the Pearl River Delta in the Guangdong province of Southern China, has experienced a tourism boom fuelled by the liberalization of the gaming industry in 2002. Last year, Macau officials estimate the number of visitors to the city reached 17 million, up more than 40 percent from the previous year. The surge translated into a jackpot for Macau casinos, which drew an estimated combined revenue of more than $5 billion.

Many of the resort casinos have clustered along the Cotai Strip development, modeled on the stretch of luxury hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. Spearheaded by the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the HotelBenchmark Survey estimates $6 billion will be invested in the first phase of development that will include 10,000 hotel rooms, entertainment and business facilities plus an area for concerts and sporting events.

Hotel companies due to operate on the Cotai Strip include Four Seasons Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, Regal Hotels, Dorsett Hotel Group, InterContinental Hotels, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Mirage. Also under construction by Wynn Resorts Limited is the Wynn Macau, a 600-room hotel-casino set to open next year on 16 acres near Macau's inner harbor.