MACAO, Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sands China's Cotai Strip® development was beautifully aflame in celebration Thursday evening, as the integrated resort city introduced to Macao the latest additions at Sands® Cotai Central, led by the launch of Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, which has the double distinction of being the largest hotel for both Macao and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
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Sands China Ltd. (HKSE: 1928), a majority-held subsidiary of global integrated resort developer Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS), opened Sands Cotai Central's second phase Thursday – which also includes new restaurants and retailers, as well as a new Polynesian-themed gaming area – with a series of exciting events.
A 10:00 a.m. press conference gave media a chance to ask questions of key executives in attendance, including Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd. Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson and Starwood Hotels & Resorts President and Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen.
In his opening remarks to the gathered media before the Q&A session, Sands China Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Tracy said, "It's been an honour for our team to lead Sands China Ltd. as we all witness the realisation of Mr. Adelson's vision of a fully integrated resort city on the Cotai Strip development. We've come a long way from that muddy swampland that Mr. Adelson first surveyed. And there were plenty along the way who said it couldn't be done. But here we are today, marking yet another grand achievement – the opening of the second phase of Sands Cotai Central, featuring Sheraton Macao Hotel – the largest Starwood property in the world, and Macao's largest hotel."
Mr. van Paasschen also addressed the media, saying, "We like to think of Sheraton as the world's gathering place. Sheraton is the leading hotel brand in this region and an ideal fit for this spectacular new hotel in Macao. And what a great combination: Starwood's largest brand in the world's fastest growing hotel market."
The local community was also involved in the day's festivities, with a special kowhaiwhai pattern mural painting and puzzle-piecing event on Level 3 of Shoppes Cotai Central. A traditional art form of the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, the beautiful kowhaiwhai pattern – called "kori" and meaning "to flourish" – was painted and assembled as a mural in collaboration with members of the Fuhong Society of Macao, a non-profit organization providing occupational skills training and employment services to the mentally challenged. Symbolising togetherness, the event was also attended by Dr. Miriam Adelson, who helped place the final piece of the pattern, along with Qian Jin, President of Greater China, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Red carpet arrivals at the evening's ceremonial opening of Sheraton Macao included Chief Executive of Macao Special Administrative Region Chui Sai On, government officials, company executives from Sands and Sheraton, international film star Zhang Ziyi, and the stars of the hit reality TV show The Voice of China.
At the evening's main ceremonial event, Maori Haka and Tahitian dancers performed at Sheraton Macao's lantern-lit Jaya pool deck, followed by the seating of the attending dignitaries. A large goddess-accompanied heliosphere then delivered a ceremonial flame to a waiting dancer on the stage. After passing the flame to the dignitaries gathered on stage, a line was ignited, carrying the flame up to light fiery logos of Sands Cotai Central and Sheraton, on the facade of Sheraton Macao's Sky tower – setting off a huge, choreographed pyrotechnic display that included fireworks illuminating all the Sands China properties of the Cotai Strip development: Sands Cotai Central, The Venetian® Macao and The Plaza™ Macao. Seven structures in total were lit by the display, first in sequence, and then altogether in unison for the spectacular grand finale.
After watching Cotai's biggest fireworks show ever, the first 5,000 visitors to the property received commemorative gold coins marking the historic occasion, distributed from various locations within Sands Cotai Central.
About Sands® Cotai Central
Launched in 2012, Sands® Cotai Central is the centre point of the Cotai Strip® – the pathway to adventure, fun and fortune. Featuring three celebrated hotel brands – Conrad, Sheraton and Holiday Inn – Sands Cotai Central offers visitors to the Cotai Strip an expanded offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 6,000 hotel rooms and suites, and 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of retail, entertainment and dining facilities, and meetings and convention space. With nearly 100 retail outlets, Shoppes Cotai Central joins Shoppes Grand Canal and Shoppes at Four Seasons to offer a total of over 600 luxury duty-free stores to choose from – the most in any one single location in all of Macao. And with two spas, three health clubs and 300,000 square feet (28,000 square metres) of gaming space in two, uniquely-themed gaming areas, Sands Cotai Central provides a new level of luxury and accessibility to the Cotai Strip*. For more information, please visit www.sandscotaicentral.com.
* All numbers based on completion of all phases of development in early 2013.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Meridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
SOURCE Sands China Ltd.