Cotai Strip

Cotai Strip
Buildings of Cotai Strip(2009/07)
Cotai Strip

The Cotai Strip is the casino and tourism project in the Cotai District, Macau, inspired by the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, USA, on a considerably smaller scale.

The project is funded by Las Vegas Sands, which currently has a trademark application pending with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Cotai Strip".[1] However, the name Cotai Strip is used generically by the press, as well as other Cotai Strip casino companies, such as Melco-PBL[2] and Galaxy Entertainment, in their financial filings and websites.

The name "Cotai" is a portmanteau of the names of the two islands, Taipa Island and Coloane Island.

Galaxy Entertainment's Grand Waldo Hotel was the first casino to open on the Cotai Strip, commencing operations in 2006. Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian Macao opened on August 28, 2007, and was a major milestone for the project.


Current properties

The following properties have opened:

  • Grand Waldo Hotel
  • Venetian Resort Macau
  • Four Seasons Macau
  • City of Dreams (Grand Hyatt Macau, Hard Rock Macau and Crown Towers Hotels)
  • Galaxy Macau Resort (contains the Galaxy Hotel, Hotel Okura and the Banyan Tree Macau)

Future properties

Cotai Strip plan as of 2011.

Las Vegas Sands

On 24 March 2011, Las Vegas Sands announced it has terminated a hotel-management agreement with Shangri-La International Hotel Management for its new casino resort development being built on plots 5 and 6 in Cotai. Las Vegas Sands is now allegedly in talks with InterContinental Hotels Group PLC to manage the two hotel towers at its USD 4.1 billion expansion project, the Dow Jones Newswires reported quoting a person familiar with the matter.[3]

The first phase of Sands China’s new Cotai sites 5 and 6 resort could open in the first quarter of 2012, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) president and chief operating officer, Michael Leven, told Macau Daily Times. "I think in the next few weeks we will be able to determine exactly when and what will open, by the middle of June we will make that decision. We are talking about opening a portion of site 5 by the end of 2011 and right now it looks like we can open it as planned," he added. However, the executive revealed Sands China is considering "perhaps opening the entire site 5 at one time and that would be in the middle of the first quarter of 2012. We feel pretty confident that we can open all of site 5 by the end of the first quarter of 2012."

Sands China also decided to manage the hotel tower on site 5 that was supposed to be operated by Shangri-La. “We will be licensing names from two major international brands but we will manage those facilities ourselves,” he said.[4] Sands China signed a franchise deal with Hilton Worldwide and InterContinental Hotels to brand over 1,800 rooms at Cotai site 5 and 6. The resort will officially be named Sands Cotai Central, the company announced on 5 August 2011. The site will include more than 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of meeting space, 11 food and beverage establishments and 106,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) of gaming area but also 13,700,000-square-foot (1,270,000 m2) of non-gaming facilities.[5]

Theme Park and Resort

The Macau Theme Park and Resort Ltd, controlled by Angela Leong On Kei, has said that it intends to build a MOP 10.4 billion family-oriented amusement resort and hotels in Cotai. According to a press statement, the integrated resort project will be developed in three phases and each of them will take about two and a half to three years to complete. The company revealed that the entire family resort will consist of one 5-star, four 4-star and one 3-star hotels with over 6,000 guest rooms, shopping malls, convention facilities, an indoor beach and wave pool, amusement rides, a 4D theatre, an equestrian centre, a horse carriage trail as well as a water sports performance centre.[6] SJM Holdings is in talks with Macau Theme Park and Resort Ltd to try to find a way for both companies to cooperate on Cotai, chief executive officer, Ambrose So Shu Fai, revealed on 16 December 2010. Stanley Ho’s SJM is still waiting for the Government to approve the application for a plot in Cotai, which sits just beside the Macau Dome and the land where the company, headed by businesswoman and lawmaker Angela Leong On Kei – who is also Stanley Ho’s fourth wife and SJM’s director –, is set to build the theme park. “We are not a shareholder in the theme park development, but we did talk with Angela Leong, who is developing that theme park, to see if there is a synergy between the two plots of land,” So told reporters.[7]

Wynn Macau

Wynn Macau's land reserve on Cotai.

Wynn announced in mid August 2010 that he will be building a new casino resort on a 52-acre (210,000 m2) plot behind the City of Dreams and Las Vegas Sands ' St Regis, plot 5 and Sheraton Resorts. Steve Wynn said the Cotai project could break ground in March or April 2011, as the building’s design is complete. The casino magnate said it could open in late 2014 or early 2015. But Citi believes that Steve Wynn may have to wait until at least 2016 to open its Cotai resort, noting that the company gave no timeframe in its latest report.[8] Wynn’s new project in Macau is expected to cost over MOP 20 billion. Asked when the construction will begin on 16 May 2011, Steve Wynn replied, "Right away, after we get the approval from the government". He said the new hotel casino would open within four or five years, which means the end of 2014 or early 2015. The new resort would more than double the operator's hotel rooms in the SAR. "I believe the Cotai project is the best work we have done. It's a departure in many aspects. It has many new things and new approaches to the way the property is presented. I think the public is going to be very excited. It's very comfortable and user-friendly. Now that we have nine years of experience in Macau, as you saw with Encore we are learning how to really address the emotional and physical needs of our guests. That kind of insight comes with time and experience. Thankfully we have the experience."[9]

Wynn Macau Ltd. said on 12 September 2011 it accepted the terms and conditions of a land concession contract from the Macau government to develop 51 acres (210,000 m2) of land in Macau's Cotai area. It said the contract permits its Palo Estate Co. Ltd. unit and Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A. to develop a resort containing a five-star hotel, gaming areas, retail, entertainment, food and beverage, spa and convention offerings.

Under the contract, Palo will lease the Cotai land from the Macau government for an initial term of 25 years and have the right to renew the contract for additional periods. On top of a US$193.43 million land premium payment, Palo is also required to pay the Macau government US$771,738 per year in rent during development phase of the resort and US$1.08 million per year in rent once development is completed, the company said, adding the rent may be reviewed by the Macau government every five year.[10]

MGM China

MGM China is waiting for government approval for the concession of a site in Cotai. "We have identified a site of approximately" 17.8 acres (72,000 m2) "in Cotai and have submitted an application to the Macau Government to obtain the right to lease this parcel of land. We are awaiting approval of this application," the company wrote in a stock exchange filing released earlier in the week of 12 May 2011. MGM did not disclose the location of the site. The site that MGM is eyeing is almost three times smaller than the plot targeted by rival operator Wynn Macau, a 52 acres (210,000 m2) (0.2 square kilometres) area next to City of Dreams and Macau University of Science and Technology.[11] CEO Grant Bowie said construction on MGM China's Cotai property would likely start in 2012, taking 27-36 months to complete. "It will be about" 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2) "of built space, that is 50 percent bigger than this one." The $7 billion operator is still waiting for approval to start construction on Macau's Cotai strip.[12]

Shun Tak Group

Shun Tak Group announced on 2 December 2008 that the Jumeirah Group, based in Dubai, will manage and operate a new hotel that Shun Tak invests in Macau. The Jumeirah Macau Hotel is to be located at Cotai across from the Macau Dome. It will be the fourth 5‐star hotel along a line of hotels that Shun Tak owns in Macau. [13] It is scheduled for completion in 2013.[14]

Economic crisis

Due to the 2008 financial crisis, up to 11,000 construction workers are to lose their jobs as US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands cuts back its development in Macau.[15] Stephen Weaver, Sands' president for Asia, said up to 11,000 workers will lose their jobs in Macau after the company halted building projects in the city. Developments of site no. 5 and no. 6 on the strip will be halted.[16] Las Vegas Sands has focused its construction work on the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore.

On 30 November 2009 the Las Vegas Sands corp announced it had secured $1.75 billion dollars to complete its Shangri-La, Traders and Sheraton Hotels, which were abandoned 65% complete in mid-2008. The 636 room Shangri-La Hotel, 1,200 room Traders Hotel and a over 2,000 room Sheraton hotel will open in June 2011. In December 2011 the Sheraton will open a further 2,000 rooms in another tower. The Sheraton will have 4,067 rooms. The St Regis Hotel might be completed in a further stage. Sheldon Adelson revealed it would take “a year and a half or so” to complete the new Cotai resort at plots 5 and 6 on 9 January 2011, meaning the sites will be completed by about mid-2012.[17]

No information was released about Cotai Strip Sites 3, 7 and 8. These are very likely to be cancelled. Macao's director of the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), Jaime Carion, said on 5 December 2010, that the Government is now looking at developing non-gaming projects in Cotai. He stressed that the Sands China application procedure for plots 7 and 8 was not fully complete and the Government would announce the result at the most convenient time.[18]

Galaxy Entertainment who is building Galaxy Macau has also stated that after having very slow construction in 2009, it will try to get its Cotai strip first phase development open for Q1 2011. Galaxy Macau was eventually opened on 15 May 2011.

Plots 7 and 8

Sands China’s application for Cotai plots 7 and 8 was submitted after a freeze on gaming land concession was announced back in 2008, secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, explained on 15 December 2010 on the sidelines of a meeting at the Legislative Assembly. On the other hand, the three gaming operators Wynn Macau, MGM Macau and SJM Holdings who are yet to be granted plots in Cotai have filed applications before that policy was stated. As such it’s likely the land concession requests of will be approved, the secretary said.[19] But the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) director Jaime Carion told local media on Thursday 16 December 2010 that the plots 7 and 8 in Cotai will not be granted to either gaming operators SJM Holdings or Sands China.[20] After the Government snub, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has dropped its interest in developing plots 7 and 8 in Cotai. “If somebody else builds on [parcels] 7 and 8, I will be happy. Happier than if I were going to build on it,” LVS chairman Sheldon Adelson said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas, on 9 January 2011.[21]

List of casinos and hotels by Macau concessionaires

Cotai Strip
↑  Taipa  ↑
Site 1 The Venetian Resort Hotel (LVS)
The Venetian
Estrada do Istmo City of Dreams (Melco-PBL)
Crown Towers / Hard Rock Hotel / Grand Hyatt
Site 4
Site 2 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (LVS)
Four Seasons
Wynn Resorts[22] & MGM Mirage →
Wynn Cotai & MGM Cotai
Site 3 Far East Consortium "The Phoenix" (LVS)
Holiday Inn / InterContinental / Emperor Hotel
Sands Cotai Central (LVS)
Conrad Macao/Holiday Inn Macao
Site 5
---- ← Galaxy Macau (Galaxy Ent.) ←
Galaxy / Okura / Banyan Tree
Sands Cotai Central (LVS)
Sheraton Macao
Site 6
---- Macao Studio City (Melco-PBL)
W / Ritz-Carlton / Marriott / Playboy
Site 7
---- Harrah's Entertainment[23]
Harrah's / Macau Country Club
Site 8
↓ Coloane ↓



  1. ^ "United States Patent and Trademark Office". 
  2. ^ Melco-PBL SEC Filing F-1, 12/01/2006
  3. ^ Sands China, Shangri-La end agreement for Cotai Macau Daily Times. 25/03/2011 07:08:00 Tiago Azevedo
  4. ^ Sands may push back Cotai site 5 to 2012 19/05/2011 08:25:00 Macau Daily Times. Vítor Quintã
  5. ^ Sands signs Cotai deal with Conrad, Holiday Inn Macau Daily Times. 06/08/2011 09:23:00
  6. ^ Theme park set to be built in Cotai
  7. ^ SJM in talks with Cotai’s theme park 17/12/2010 03:04:00
  8. ^ Wynn on Cotai may be in 2016: Citi Macau Daily Times 24/03/2011 09:44
  9. ^ Wynn to start immediately on Cotai after land grant Macau Daily Times. 17/05/2011 09:12:00 Alexandra Lages
  10. ^ Wynn Macau: To Develop Resort On 51 Acres Of Land In Cotai Chester Yung. Fox Business. Published September 11, 2011
  11. ^ MGM 'identified' Cotai site Macau Daily Times. 12/05/2011 09:07:00
  12. ^ MGM China says no need for refinancing, eyes Cotai by 2015 Reuters. Macau, 4 June 2011.
  13. ^ Remarks by Ms Pansy Ho Managing Director Shun Tak Holdings Limited Signing Ceremony and Press Conference. Jumeirah Macau Hotel Shun Tak Group. 2 December 2008.
  14. ^ Shun Tak and Jumeirah Group sign management agreement for an ultra-luxurious hotel in Macau Shun Tak Group. 2 December 2008.
  15. ^ Unlucky Number - Hong Kong Standard
  16. ^ Up to 11,000 Macau workers to lose jobs
  17. ^ Sands gives up on Cotai plots 7, 8 12/01/2011 03:00:00
  18. ^ Government looks for ‘more diversification’ in Cotai plots 06/12/2010 03:00:00 Macao Daily Times
  19. ^ Tam: Sands’ request for plots 7,8 came late 16/12/2010 03:00:00
  20. ^ Cotai plots 7, 8 not for SJM, Sands 18/12/2010 03:00:00 Vítor Quintã
  21. ^ Sands gives up on Cotai plots 7, 8 12/01/2011 03:00:00
  22. ^ "". 
  23. ^ Harrah's Entertainment press release, 09/12/2007

Coordinates: 22°8′26″N 113°33′47″E / 22.14056°N 113.56306°E / 22.14056; 113.56306

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