By JAMES WILKINSON IN MACAU
Starwood’s largest hotel made a spectacular debut in Macau last night (Sep 20), with fireworks and cocktails helping celebrate the arrival of the first guests at the 3,900-room Sheraton Macao Cotai Central.
The property, owned and developed by Las Vegas Sands and Sands China, is the third hotel to open in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) this year, following the debut of sister Cotai Central hotels under the Conrad and Holiday Inn flags.
Las Vegas Sands and Sands China’s Chairman and visionary businessman Sheldon Adelson flew in for the opening and said the opening of the Sheraton was a further realisation of his dream that is the Cotai Strip.
“We proudly welcome the world-renowned Sheraton brand to the Sands Cotai Central integrated resort,” Adelson said.
“The development of the Cotai Strip, from a muddy swampland to the glittering center of tourism and leisure that stands before us today, represents a vision realised for the company.”
Sheraton Macao Cotai Central features 3,896 rooms, the world’s largest Sheraton Club Lounge and a ballroom the size of 11 basketball courts – just one element of the property’s 160,000 square feet of meeting space.
Starwood’s CEO Frits van Paasschen, who also flew in for the opening, said the opening of the Sheraton Macao Cotai Central’s timing would not be better, as the brand celebrates 75 years in 2012.
“The opening of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central represents an historic milestone for Starwood, for Sheraton, and for the hospitality industry as a whole,” he said.
“Boasting unparalleled brand recognition and a rich legacy in Asia Pacific, Sheraton is the ideal fit for this spectacular new hotel in Macau, as the brand continues to lead Starwood’s growth in the region.”
Sheraton Macao Cotai Central also features a casino, one of several owned by Sands in Macau. The SAR has been the world’s biggest gaming market since overtaking Las Vegas in 2006.
“The new Sheraton in Macau will add even more excitement to the rapidly developing Cotai Strip – the latest world’s gathering place with rich cultural identity, vast entertainment options and the world’s hottest gaming market, generating four times the revenue of Las Vegas,” said Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ President – Asia Pacific, Stephen Ho.
“Starwood’s strength across Asia Pacific highlights our first mover advantage, the strength of our brands and the meaningful relationships we have fostered with our developers, partners, and guests ever since we debuted Sheraton in China in 1985.”
Starwood currently operates 95 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region and is expected to reach 150 properties by 2015.