It's a sure bet that gaming venues across the country are always coming up with something new to attract business. Here's a glimpse of some of those new, expanded, and renovated sites.

  • At the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, new hotel tower, the Venezia, is scheduled for completion in June. It will add 1,013 suites, a pool deck themed after a Venetian garden, and 150,000 square feet of additional meeting space. The new tower's suites will be even larger than the existing Venetian suites, which were recognized as “the largest standard hotel rooms” by the Guinness Book of World Records. The Venetian claims to have the world's largest privately owned convention center: The Venetian Congress Center and The Sands Expo together now comprise more than 1.8 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Also on property are a Canyon Ranch spa and two Guggenheim museums.

  • In February, Belterra Casino Resort in Belterra, Ind., on the Ohio River, embarked on an expansion project that will give it nearly 33,000 square feet of meeting and conference space and an additional 300 guest rooms. The resort now has 38,000 square feet of riverboat casino space, 308 guest rooms and suites, and an 18-hole championship golf course. Its ballroom seats 1,200 people.

  • The Mandalay Bay Convention Center opened its doors in Las Vegas in January. It has 1.8 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space including two pillarless ballrooms, two floors of exhibit space, and flexible breakout space that can accommodate as many as 75 simultaneous meetings. Five wood-paneled corporate boardrooms feature high-back leather chairs. Meeting planners using the convention center have the option of booking rooms at any Mandalay Resort Group hotel, including Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur, all adjacent to one another on the Las Vegas Strip.

  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will open the first Westin hotel in Nevada, The Westin Casuarina Hotel & Spa, in Las Vegas this fall. The former Maxim Hotel just off the Strip will have 825 guest rooms, a spa, a pool with six poolside cabanas, a 20,000-square-foot casino, and a restaurant with a private dining room. Additionally, the hotel will feature five contiguous meeting rooms that can accommodate 470 people theater-style, one meeting room that can accommodate 350 people theater-style, and two boardrooms that can seat 15 people each. More than $75 million is being invested to completely refurbish the 17-story property.

  • In Palm Springs, Calif., the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla American Indians broke ground in December on a $90 million casino project. The Spa Resort Casino, in the heart of Palm Springs, will cover an entire city block. Completion is targeted for November.

  • The Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino, in northeastern San Diego County, opened New Year's Day after a two-year expansion that added a new casino, a resort hotel, an events center, and a championship golf course. Run by the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the resort has 397 guest rooms and suites and a 310,000-square-foot casino. It has nearly 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, including the 4,000-square-foot Oak Tree Ballroom and the 2,500-square — foot Creek Ballroom.

  • In December, Bally's became the undisputed biggest casino resort in Atlantic City. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the merger of two Atlantic City properties: The historic Claridge Casino Hotel, a longtime Atlantic City landmark, formally joined Bally's Atlantic City as The Claridge Tower. A new ballroom was added, the Traymore Ballroom, and the meeting facilities were refurbished. The casino resort now features three ballrooms and 30 meeting rooms with a total of 80,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The new Bally's offers guests 1,753 hotel rooms, 21 restaurants, six lounges, two pools, 14 shops, and a 550-seat theater.

  • The Hotel Hermitage in Monaco has begun a major renovation and expansion that will be completed in April 2004. Sixty-three rooms and suites will be added to the existing 229, and 40 rooms will be completely renovated.

  • In the heart of Monaco, steps from the Casino square, Le Metropole Palace has joined the Vision Hotel Group. The hotel has 151 king-size double rooms and suites and eight meeting rooms. On the 10th floor is the Edward VII conference center, with outstanding views of the principality and the Mediterranean sea. Its Belvedere terrace is an ideal spot for a cocktail party. The hotel is undertaking a major refurbishment program at the end of the year that will add a new spa complex, a restaurant and bar, and banquet space.