Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Las Vegas Sands to decide on "Eurovegas" in April or May

MADRID: Las Vegas Sands will decide in April or May whether it will build a casino strip in Madrid or Barcelona, the company's president said in an interview published Tuesday in Spain.

The company, owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is in talks with officials from Spain's two biggest cities to build the complex which reportedly will have six casinos, 12 hotels, nine theatres and three golf courses.

The project -- dubbed "Eurovegas" -- will create 261,000 direct and indirect jobs in a country with a jobless rate of just under 23 per cent and it has been welcomed by politicians in both cities.

But a citizens group called "Eurovegas No" has campaigned against the complex, arguing it would mark a return to an economic model based on excessive building which led to Spain's economic downturn when a property bubble collapsed in 2008.

"Madrid is more of a business destination and Barcelona is more touristic but either one could get it. Economically the two cities are very similar," Las Vegas Sands president Michael Leven told the daily newspaper El Mundo.

"Barcelona is a little bit behind because we started studying the project with Madrid. We will probably make our decision in April or May.

"We are still negotiating the land. We are talking about more than 400 hectares that will include golf courses, possibly stadiums, tennis courts, theatres. It will take ten years to complete the project," he added.

The first phase of the project would involve the construction of 12,000 hotel rooms and other infrastructure for between 6.8 and 7.6 billion euros ($9.0 and 10.1 billion).

The construction of the rest of the project will depend on the success of this first phase with a decision as to whether or not to complete the complex expected in "five or six years", said Leven.

"We don't want an empty city," he added.

Las Vegas Sands, the world's biggest casino company by market value, operates the The Venetian and The Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It also operates properties in Macao.

- AFP/wm

View the original article here

source From Channel News Asia

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