We've got some more information on developments in Macau, the former Portuguese colony that allows Las Vegas style gambling in China near Hong Kong.
Thanks to reader Chris, we have some great first hand info as well as pictures. For those that missed them last time, we posted a bunch of his shots here: http://photos.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/macau. Some great shots!
This time around we have a couple more photos from Chris and they will be in the Macau group on the above site very soon.
Below, find some more comments from Chris regarding Macau developments (after the jump)...
Thanks again to Chris - he's providing us with a unique insight into Macau development that otherwise we just wouldn't have. Thank you Chris and keep it coming!
Below is a description of the developments in Macau that are currently underway and / or are proposed to open up in the coming few years. This list is by no means exhaustive (for example, other than the Dorsett development it does not include any of the other Cotai strip developments that LVS signed MOUs with hotel groups to build - many of which have apparently fallen by the wayside due to disagreement over the casino revenue arrangement) and does not include extensions to existing facilities. It is worth looking at Macau using Google Earth because Macau comes out in fairly decent resolution and it allows you to appreciate just how small the place is. To put things into comparison, HK is already a small place but Macau's available land is around 28 square kilometers compared to over 1000 for HK.
Fisherman's Wharf (opening in phases beginning October 2005)
A variety of buildings evoking various places around the world, supposedly to be filled with restaurants, bars, shops, a small hotel and some gaming (100 tables and a slot hall). Most of the buildings are now complete and they are just doing the finishing touches: http://www.fishermanswharf.com.mo/. The volcano is easily bigger than the one outside The Mirage, and will apparently have some sort of roller-coaster ride through it. Although it looks fairly tacky, it is located right next to the HK - Macau ferry terminal and the Sands Macau, so will undoubtedly get plenty of traffic flow.
Emperor Entertainment Hotel (casino opening late 2005, hotel probably 2006)
Near Lisboa and Wynn (if you look on the Wynn location site http://www.wynnmacaujobs.com/location.htm it is in the block to the immediate north-west of the Lisboa). 60-100 tables, 300 hotel rooms, eight VIP halls and slots. It has been constructed in a fantastically fast and shoddy manner (they had a fire on the roof last week) but Albert Yeung (the owner of the Entertainment Group) runs some of the VIP rooms at the Lisboa and his Emperor group is perhaps the most influential HK / Greater China entertainment conglomerate (Jacky Chan and a host of other canto-pop / local stars are good pals) so even if this place stinks then Albert Yeung should be able to get a fair share of high profile visitors and VIP players.
Galaxy City Club - Rio Hotel / Galaxy City Club - Cotai (both Q1 2006)
These two venues will have 80 tables / 150 slots and 146 tables / 200 slots, respectively. Will operate like Galaxy Waldo - ie, Galaxy won't actually own the hotel but will run the casino operations and share the profits with the hotel owner / operator.
Wynn Macau (August / September 2006)
Can't wait for Wynn to open - will definitely be there for the opening. The main hotel tower has gone up amazingly fast. From March to the topping out on August 30 it went up at the rate of about a floor a week, even during a few weeks of pretty bad tropical rainstorms. Personally I like the look of Wynn Las Vegas and I think Wynn Macau really stands out at the moment (given that most everything else built in Macau to date has been pretty low-grade). Wynn Macau is right in the middle of town and opposite the old Lisboa - and frankly I simply can't fathom why anybody would continue to go to Lisboa after Wynn opens (except for the VIPs from China that get a level of...ahem...service...that Wynn probably won't be willing to match). Then again, by the end of 2007 Galaxy Starworld, Grand Lisboa and MGM Grand Macau will all be open and within 100 metres of Wynn, so unclear who the big winner will be.
Immediately to the east of Wynn and definitely going to be a much more attractive building than Galaxy Waldo (which was just a quick and dirty refit of an old building). Supposedly a 1H 2006 opening but given that construction appears to be a few months behind Wynn, I would be amazed to see it open before 2H. Proposed to have 200 tables / 300 slots in a 33 storey building with 560 rooms.
Crown Macau (Melco)
Melco has a joint venture with PBL to develop, among other things, Crown Macau and City of Dreams. PBL is run by Kerry Packer, who developed Crown Casino in Melbourne, owns a fair chunk of Australia's media and is a renowned gambler himself. Melco is run by Stanley Ho's son Lawrence. Its website is http://www.melco.hk.cn/eng/gaming.php which has a decent corporate video showing their proposed operations. Crown Macau was originally proposed to be called "Park Hyatt Macau" and be the first 6-star hotel in Macau. It is on Taipa right next to the Hyatt Regency and the Greek Mythology. 200 tables, 256 hotel rooms, 1300 slots. Casino will be operational by late 2006 with the whole thing becoming operational in 2007. The structure is at about the sixth or seventh floor, but a long way to go yet. Will benefit from the cross-branding with Crown Casino in Melbourne, which has been incredibly successful with Asian gamblers.
Right across the road from the old Lisboa. Planned to have 200 tables, 300 hotel rooms, 44 floors and will be shaped like a bright yellow lotus leaf. Supposedly 2H 2006 but I just can't see it opening until 2007 because they are still working on the foundations.
Not much to say - work progressing swiftly - going to look more or less like Venetian Las Vegas - should open in 1H 2007.
Four Seasons will be right next to the Venetian and will be more or less integrated with the Venetian. Venetian is constructing the building so presumably the arrangement with Four Seasons is just a management contract.
MGM Grand Macau
Plenty enough details on this in the MGM investor presentations. Adjacent to Wynn (on the south side). Still working on the foundations so will probably be mid or late 2007 rather than early 2007.
Theme-park style development on the north-side of Macau facing the mainland. 20 VIP mansions (whatever that means), 150 tables, 5 VIP halls, various restaurants and bars. This area of Macau is a bit run-down, and Ponte 16 is an attempt to generally make it look a bit nicer. Some suggestions that they may create an underwater tunnel from the mainland to the Ponte 16 area as an additional entry-point for mainlanders into Macau.
Macau Dorsett Hotel Complex (2H 2007)
Being developed by Far East Consortium (an operator of mid-range hotels in HK) on a site on the Cotai strip under an arrangement with LVS. No construction started yet - supposed to incorporate 4 hotels, 1 million square feet of shopping / entertainment, 160000 square feet of casino space.
Have been reports about a Grand Hyatt opening on the Macau peninsula near Wynn / MGM / Lisboa etc some time in 2007. No public details available though.
Galaxy Cotai Megaresort (Q1 2008)
348 tables / 1000 slots and 2000 rooms. Construction well-underway on a site immediately to the west of Venetian in Cotai (slightly larger site than Venetian). Planned to be a more family / resort style experience than the other Galaxy facilities.
City of Dreams
Scheduled to open in mid-2008 right across the road from the Venetian, but given that construction is yet to start definitely still just a dream. 400 tables, 3000 slots, 2000 hotel rooms spread through two four-star hotels and one five-star hotel. Will also have 1200 time-share apartments (recent reports about Cendant considering establishing some time share in Macau - so perhaps will be within City of Dreams). Construction was supposed to begin in 2H 2005 but here we are in late October with absolutely nothing happening on the site. The concept pictures look pretty good though - it is supposed to have the world's first underwater casino, with sharks / fish etc swimming around above.
600 hotel rooms in a six-star hotel designed to look like the bow of a ship, with a 180 metre tall office tower. They will demolish the old Jai Alai casino and Yaohan department stores to construct this. Probably late 2008 or 2009.
[Editor: So, that's the Macau report for now. Thanks again to Chris for providing all the info!]