Las Vegasís days as the capital of excess may be numbered.
The $2.4 billion Venetian Macao Resort, scheduled to open here Tuesday, will give Sin City more than a run for its money. The Venetian has more floor space than four Empire State Buildings. The hotelís slot machines, baccarat tables and other games of chance sprawl across a casino more than three times the size of the largest casino in Las Vegas. The 15,000-seat sports arena nearly rivals Madison Square Garden, the convention center has a 6,000-seat banquet hall and the luxury shopping mall has three indoor canals with singing gondoliers; the Venetian in Las Vegas has just one.
But what is most surprising about the 3,000-suite project is that it is merely the first of 14 interconnected hotels being built here by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. When completed, the complex will include a St. Regis, a Shangri-la, a Raffles, a Conrad, an Intercontinental and a Sheraton, with their own casinos, bars and restaurants. And the project, which will cost $10 billion to $12 billion, is just the largest of a series of giant gambling complexes being constructed here in Macao, on the southwestern lip of the mouth of the Pearl River.