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- Extra Times
Sands Cotai Central opening preview
As one of the major events in the all-important gaming and resort industry, the Sands Cotai Central’s grand opening next month promises to catch global attention. There are always some eager aficionados who just can’t wait until April, so there is a preview of the huge integrated resort between its announcement of opening and its formal opening.
In a preview tour organized for international and local media, dozens of journalists from Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India and other countries and regions, as well as Macau, were taken to some of the hidden scenes prohibited to outsiders, including brand-spanking new hotel suites with panoramic views of the Cotai Strip, and a fountain pool still under construction - but water is already splattering out.
The tour started with the main lobby of the building catering Holiday Inn and Conrad Hotel, which are connected together but traded in the two different brand names with different styles of rooms and facilities. Instead of usual shining marble floor and impressive deco typical of four and five-star hotels, visitors are greeted with bamboo scaffoldings towering to the ceiling and dusty floor covered with wooden boards and plastics sheets. Instead of smiling receptionists, rubbing shoulders with the visitors are armies of construction workers donning safety helmets and florescent vests.
Asked if the buildings and amenities can make the grand opening day, the resort’s smiling public relation staff told the worrying journalists “no problem”. This remark was immediately reassured when the media guys were brought upstairs to the hotel rooms featuring artistic deco yet cosy settings with a family-warm ambience, which were ready-to-use and already bookable online. Inside the room there was even a guy dressed in white bathrobe (obviously a resort staff) who pretended to be relaxing on homey couch after a sauna bath, but then jumped up to greet the intruding journalists – not to turn them away but to introduce the features and settings of the rooms, including the highly springy mattress that attracted many reporters to sleep on it – one by one of course.
But then the worrying expressions returned to the visitors’ faces when they were shown to the adjacent building which housed the Sheraton Hotel. The air was filled with chemicals from construction materials, and the walls were covered with wooden boards, most of the inner area was obviously still under construction. Resort staff clarified that Sheraton would open later, instead of April 11, so there was “no problem” that the construction was a bit lagging behind. He said the company expected an opening in September, but without precise date. Its opening will add 4000 more rooms to the resort.
Then it’s the core of the tour – the two casinos on the ground floor level that spanned over 90 thousand square feet of total area, equipped with hundreds of gaming tables, all of them obviously ready to use (put a croupier behind the tables and you can place your bet). But photo-taking was not allowed in this area, as resort staff said, for the reason that preparation works were still underway.
Sands Cotai Central features more than 600 rooms and suites under the Conrad hotel brand and more than 1200 rooms from Holiday Inn. In addition to accommodations, amenities and casinos, it also unveils significant meeting, convention and retail space as well as several distinctive dining offerings.
“The opening marks another milestone in the company’s efforts (more than USD 8 billion invested to date) to help Macao reach its full potentials as an international business and leisure tourism destination,” according to a Sands press release. The opening aims to bring the Cotai Strip “one step closer to fulfilling the original vision of Las Vegas Sands and Sands China Ltd. Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson, who said ‘there were few believers in my vision for the Cotai Strip when the site was basically under water’. With the completion of Sands Cotai Central, that same spot will be home to thousands of hotel rooms, millions of square feet of retail, meeting and convention space, dozens of restaurants and so many other attractions.”
”The opening of Sands Cotai Central is a game changer for the future of Macau as a leisure, entertainment and business location,” states the press release.
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