Green Valley Ranch Resort, Las Vegas, opened a $110 million expansion in October, the property's third major expansion since opening in 2001. The hotel offers 490 guest rooms, including more than 80 suites. The project added 14,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, bringing the total to 79,000 square feet in 37 meeting rooms, and a 500-seat entertainment venue. The new lounge and additional gaming facilities are expected to be finished in spring 2007. The resort also offers a 30,000-square-foot spa. The expansion is one of four at Station Casinos-owned properties. Other projects are at Fiesta Henderson, in Henderson, Nev.; and Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, and Santa Fe Station, both in Las Vegas. All are scheduled to be completed by mid-2007. Santa Fe Station's $130 million expansion, opening in stages, includes a new parking garage; four new restaurants; additional casino space; and 6,000 square feet of additional meeting and convention space, bringing the total to more than 14,000 square feet.
In Albuquerque, N.M., Sandia Resort & Casino opened last year with 228 guest rooms and suites and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 28,000-square-foot ballroom and six breakout rooms totaling 5,700 square feet. Also on site: an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Scott Miller and a 12,000-square-foot spa.
Ameristar Casino St. Charles (Mo.) will open a $14 million conference and meeting center in late 2007. The 55,000-square-foot conference center is part of Ameristar's $240 million expansion, which includes a 400-room all-suite hotel. Two ballrooms, five meeting rooms, and an executive boardroom will provide 19,200 square feet of meeting space. A business center and banquet kitchens complete the facility, which is housed on the second level of Ameristar's existing $360 million casino entertainment facility. Established in 1994 as the first gaming facility in Missouri, Ameristar features a cobblestone streetscape inspired by the 1880s architecture of the St. Charles River Port District, with seven dining and entertainment venues. The streetscape adjoins an all-new 130,000-square-foot casino vessel with 3,300 slot and video poker machines, 91 table games, and a 19-table live poker room.
Edge Group, a gaming, development and management company, is developing the W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Residences on 25 acres just east of the Strip, in partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Loews Hotels has opened its first property in Nevada: Loews Lake Las Vegas. The former Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas, in Henderson, Nev., Loews offers 493 guest rooms, four restaurants, two swimming pools, a full-service spa, and two championship golf courses.
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa debuted late last year in Las Vegas, offering 1,350 guest rooms, including 54 suites on the top floor. Five minutes from McCarran International Airport. South Coast has an equestrian complex and 150,000 square feet of convention, exhibit, and banquet space.
That rare commodity — a non-gaming hotel in Vegas — opened in October. The Platinum Hotel & Spa is a block and a half from the Strip and a block from the monorail. All 255 suites have living rooms, kitchens, and private terraces. Rooms have 42-inch, wall-mounted plasma HDTVs, electric fireplaces, Bose radios, and whirlpool baths. There is a 24-hour business center, and, of course, high-speed Internet access and Wi-Fi capabilities throughout the property.
In November, Benchmark Hospitality International opened the French Lick Resort Casino in French Lick, Ind. The circa 1845 resort has is still in the process of undergoing a $382 million restoration and casino development project, which also entails the West Baden Springs Hotel (built in 1902). The hotel will reopen in May. The property's French Lick Springs Hotel has been restored and is now open. The 1917 Donald Ross Golf Course at French Lick Resort Casino reopened last September, the first of three championship golf courses to open at the resort. Benchmark is also developing the Pete Dye Course at French Lick, slated to open in spring 2008, and the 9-hole Tom Bendelow Course, will open this spring.
The 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, N.J., completed a $200 million expansion that features dining by Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Mina, as well as 36,120 square feet of casino space. Borgata is undergoing a $525 million development. A second hotel, The Water Club at Borgata, is scheduled to debut in late 2007.
Harrah's has reopened the Grand Biloxi, in Biloxi, Miss., and is planning a new $1 billion resort on adjoining property. The Beau Rivage Hotel & Casino, Biloxi's most luxurious property prior to Katrina, reopened in late August after MGM Mirage spent $500 million to upgrade the resort.
MGM Mirage will consult with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in the development of the $700 million hotel and casino resort under construction at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., scheduled to open in 2008.
Caesars World Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harrah's Operating Co. Inc, has signed a trademark licensing agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. that will result in the Casino Windsor (Ontario) being renamed Caesars Windsor in early 2008. At that point, the property will have completed a $350 million expansion, including a new 22-story, 389-room hotel tower and 100,000 square feet of convention space.
In September, Las Vegas hospitality entrepreneur Steve Wynn opened a 600-room resort in Macau, China's hotly emerging gaming destination. Wynn Macau has more than 23,000-square-feet of flexible meeting space, a full-service spa, restaurants, a shopping mall, and a 100,000-square-foot casino.
In Other News
The new InterContinental Boston opened recently on Boston Harbor, within walking distance of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the financial district, downtown shopping, and the city's newest cultural icon, the Institute of Contemporary Art. The InterContinental features 424 guest rooms and 130 condominiums, and it has 32,000 square feet of meeting space. It can accommodate groups of up to 1,200.