The Parisian Macao opened under a “magnifique” fireworks display, lighting the skies above its replica Eiffel Tower to mark a “crowning achievement” in Las Vegas resort tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s vision for Cotai Strip.
The Sands chief executive and chairman said the meetings, incentives and business events industry in the former Portuguese colony will continue to grow when the Hong Kong to Zhuhai bridge and a monorail system linking Macau peninsula and Cotai are completed.
Wilfred Wong, CEO of Sands China, says the company is now “an integral part of Macau's success story” with Adelson being the “inventor of the Cotai Strip and creator of the integrated resort” concept. “The opening of The Parisian marks a crowning achievement of Sheldon Adelson’s vision for the Cotai Strip.”
Speaking at a press conference prior to The Parisian’s grand opening on September 14, Adelson added that the completion of the latest Sands China property also represented an achivement for the company’s nearly 30,000 employees in Macau and a milestone in the development of Cotai, which was created from land reclamation between the islands of Coloane and Taipa that began in the early 2000s.
Adelson said that Sands originally wanted to focus on Macau peninsula, but was offered six parcels of land to develop in a district that would become Cotai. “When the government sent me out to Cotai I thought they were exiling me,” he joked. “You got to reclaim the land with barge ater barge of sand.
“Actually, I wanted 20 properties but we only got six lots. We’re very happy with this – with the opening of The Parisian we have completed the available parcels of what I call the Cotai Strip.”
Adelson said the meetings and incentive industry played a crucial role in the Macau government’s efforts to diversify the region’s economy away from a reliance on casino revenue.
He said the sea bridge from Hong Kong will give Macau “the equivalent of two airports” with airlines serving more than 180 destinations from Chep Lap Kok in addition to the airport near Cotai.
“That is going to have a dramatic boost to the MICE business here in Macau. There is no other city that can do this, according to the best of my knowledge – this will be a tremendous driver for business here,” Adelson (right) told a press conference.
Adelson was speaking as a mega incentive, with around 14,000 cosmetics sales people, was drawing to a close across the other side of the Cotai Strip at properties owned by Sands. Another mega incentive, with an expected 10,000 delegates, is due to take place at Sands properties along the Cotai Strip at the end of September.
He said Sands Cotai now offered around 13,000 hotel guest rooms in addition to meeting space and more than a thousand restaurants and shops. Addison said it was possible to walk between the properties, which include the Venetian, Four Seasons, St Regis, Conrad, Holiday Inn, Sheraton Grand in addition to The Parisian via an air-conditioned walkways. This effectively placed the properties and their meeting facilities under one roof.
“What we have in the MICE facilities in Macau will stimulate interest in conventions. There’s only one or two major convention centre that are bigger than what we have: the Canton Fair [venue] and the new Shanghai centre [the National Exhibition and Conference Centre], but we have enough meeting rooms combined. We have enough to stimulate the growth of the convention business,” Adelson said.
Sands invested about US$2.9 billion in 2,900 guest room The Parisian Macao, which has French-themed meeting venues totalling more than 5,200 sqm. The 3,400 sqm Parisian Ballroom on the fifth level can also be divided into three junior ballrooms. There are five “Bordeaux” meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a business centre and outdoor function spaces. Lower levels of the half-size Eiffel Tower can also be hired for events.