A rundown of recent happenings in the industry:
Scheduled to open this winter is the 350-room Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas Resort. The resort is on the shores of Lake Mead, 20 minutes from Las Vegas. The Ritz is a component of the resort's Italian-inspired Montelago Village, which also features shopping and residential condos. Guests will have preferred tee times and convenient access to the resort's Tom Weiskopf — designed 18-hole golf course.
Mandalay Bay plans to debut its $200 million convention center and all-suite hotel tower in October 2003. The convention center will be 1.8 million square feet, and the tower will have 1,125 rooms.
Expected completion of a third, 925-room hotel tower at MGM Mirage's Bellagio resort is set for December 2004. A start date is planned for mid-2003. The project includes the tower, expansion of the Bellagio spa and salon, 60,000 square feet of meeting space, and an additional 5,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Caesars Palace will debut the $95 million, 4,000-seat super entertainment theater, The Colosseum, in March with a Celine Dion concert. Dion is scheduled to perform regularly at the theater.
Atlantis Casino and Resort's $75 million expansion includes the recently opened glass Sky Terrace, a 27-story luxury tower, 20,000 additional square feet of convention, meeting, and special event space, and an indoor/outdoor pool and health spa. The convention facilities' expansion includes 5,000 square feet of Grand Ballroom expansion, 5,000 square feet of event space, and 2,500 square feet of breakout meeting space, for a total of 32,000 square feet.
The final phase of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino's $60 million renovation will include a spa, multitiered swimming pool, and rebuilt 150-room Aspen Terrace wing. The final phase, which is expected to take 16 to 18 months, began with the closing of the Aspen Terrace wing, swimming pool, and health club in March. The new pool and Aspen Terrace are scheduled to re-open in summer 2003.
Opening in summer 2003 is The Borgata, a $1 billion entertainment resort with 2,010 hotel rooms, a 135,000-square-foot casino, and 70,000 square feet of event space. Of interest to meeting planners are complete banquet and catering facilities, talent booking (including live musical staging), and express group check-in.
Harrah's Atlantic City, a “Las Vegas-style” resort, opened its new 25-story Bayview Tower in May, increasing its total room number to 1,626. It also debuted expanded gaming space. The 452-room Bayview Tower features a light show, with as many as 42 different light configurations, that can be seen for miles. The total investment: $200 million.
In April, Aztar Corp. began a $225-million expansion of its flagship Tropicana Casino and Resort. The expansion, with a March 2004 completion date, will add The Quarter, a 200,000-square-foot indoor dining, entertainment, and retail complex; a hotel tower with 502 rooms designed to cater to convention and meeting customers; and a 20,000-square-foot meeting and convention facility, with the entire top floor of the tower dedicated to boardrooms and hospitality suites with ocean vistas.
Park Place Entertainment Corp. is seeking permission from New Jersey gaming regulators to merge the Claridge Casino Hotel with Bally's Atlantic City. If permitted, it would create the Boardwalk's largest casino resort. With the addition of the new Claridge Tower, the new Bally's would have 1,753 hotel rooms and an amazing 21 restaurants. Park Place Entertainment has made improvements to the Claridge including renovation of 500 rooms, scheduled for completion in 2003, and renovation and reconfiguration of the second-floor casino.
As of press time, progress on a $4 million expansion of the Tunica Arena & Exposition Center, Tunica, Miss., was on schedule for completion this fall, according to Roger Newman, Arena director. The new covered arena will seat up to 500.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. has sold its Tunica, Miss., property to a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Park Place Entertainment Corp. expect to break ground on the planned Sullivan County casino and resort complex by the end of this year. The resort will be built on the site of the Catskill's legendary Kutsher's Resort Hotel and Country Club in the Town of Thompson, on a 66-acre site that will be held in trust for the St. Regis Mohawk tribe. The $500 million project will feature a 750-room hotel, 130,000 square feet of gaming space, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, eight restaurants and a spa. www.parkplace.com
Kewadin Hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., is celebrating its fifth anniversary. The hotel complex was completed in 1997 and has been accommodating casino guests since. The expansion incorporated a convention center, a theater, various retail shops, and restaurant and bar facility. www.kewadin.com
Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Barona Indian Reservation, Calif., part of a $263 million expansion, is scheduled to open in January. Located in northeastern San Diego County, the resort has 364 guest rooms, eight restaurants, an 18-hole championship golf club, and a full-service golf events center with 20,000 square feet of flexible function space that can accommodate groups of 25 to 600 people. The project also includes a 300,000-square-foot casino and a five-level parking garage. www.barona.com