Sands China is set to test the “if you build it they will come” adage in Macau, with the phased opening of The Londoner resort in the first quarter.
The $2 billion property is a revamp of Sands Cotai to incorporate British history and culture, adding to Sands’ French and Italian-themed offerings already operating in Macau — The Parisian and the Venetian.
The company will hold an official ceremony in early February 2021, just as China enters the New Year of the Ox. However, it says it will begin welcoming guests from Jan. 22.
Past resort openings in Macau have undoubtedly driven visitation and this time around it will be closely watched for signs it’s helping to stimulate the moribund market. Gross gambling revenue is expected to be down by about 80 percent for the full-year in 2020 and although analysts at Bernstein have noted an uptick in the latest week in December, there’s still a long way to go before a solid recovery takes hold.
Executives say the opening is a vote of confidence in the future of Macau.
“Our investment in The Londoner Macao is a clear signal that we believe Macau’s future as one of the world’s most important leisure and business destinations remains on course,” said Rob Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands.
Sands China President Wilfred Wong adds that the addition of The Londoner will “raise the profile of Macau, while increasing the number of visitors as our other flagship properties have done.”
The revamp includes the introduction of two new all-suite hotels, more retail and MICE space and a 6,000-seat arena.
The project also continues Sands collaboration with brand ambassador David Beckham who designed the Suites by David Beckham, the former footballer’s first interior design collection.
To mark the launch, Sands is offering a hotel package starting from MOP 2,398 for a one-night stay in its Louis Suite accommodation for two with all-day access to The Residence. The booking period is from Dec. 15, 2020, for a stay period from Jan. 22, 2021 onwards.
SJM Holdings is also planning to open its delayed Grand Lisboa Palace in the first quarter of next year, but hasn’t been as specific as Sands on opening dates. The company had said it would open the property by the end of this year, but has since pushed back its timetable.