Starwood, Sands Reach Deal on Luxury Residences for Las Vegas Strip

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will bring its high-end St. Regis brand to Las Vegas with the opening in two years of The St. Regis Residences at the Venetian Palazzo, LasVegas. Starwood and Las Vegas Sands Corp. reached an agreement for Starwood to manage 398 private luxury residences in a $600 million residential tower under construction on The Strip between The Venetian and The Palazzo.No financial terms were disclosed in a joint news release from the two companies, but they did project total sales could be as much as $2 billion. Various news reports stated it was the first time Las Vegas Sands has brought in an outside company to manage one of its properties on The Strip.Located between the two hotels, the tower will be more than 600 feet tall. Residences will run from 1,700 square feet to over 10,000 square feet for a duplex with a private pool. Prices were not given for the units but buyers will have an option to buy a fully-furnished residence with interiors planned by world-renowned designers. The residences will include the St. Regis Butler Service.“The St. Regis name is synonymous with luxury,” noted Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, adding, “Those fortunate enough to purchase The St. Regis Residences will have the rare opportunity to own a residence that is part of two world-class resorts in the heart of one of the most famous streets in the world.”Between them, the resorts have more than 30 restaurants, including those run by celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck; two spa and fitness facilities; four theaters and more than 150 retailers including an 85,000-squar-foot Barneys New York and stores from high-end designers like Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch. Adelson made a point of saying that the companies felt quality and luxury will sell in any type of economy. He noted that occupancy numbers for August, traditionally a slow month in Vegas, was nearly 95 percent for the Venetian and Palazzo resorts. Mike Mixer, managing partner of Colliers International, Las Vegas, said very high-end product in Las Vegas is experiencing some of the same weakness that the mid-range high-rise residential proejcts are seeing. He said the companies might have been better off going “ultra high-end” with a smaller number of units.“Given the lo cation at the heart of The Strip and with all the tremendous amenities nearby, they might be surprised to find more of these buyers in today’s climate,” Mixer told CPN today. “With a smaller number of units the exclusivity increases, and the risk of a long and drawn-out sales effort could be minimized.” Las Vegas Sands said the sales and marketing team will start taking VIP reservations next month and had already been receiving interest from all over the world.Starwood is expanding the St. Regis brand across the globe. CPN reported July 10 that Starwood was planning to open The St. Regis Hotel Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2012. The hotel will include 220 guest rooms and there will be 80 residences. The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is scheduled to open in 2014 and feature 200 guest rooms and 200 whole-ownership residences, according to a June 17 CPN article. Starwood will also open the 300-room St. Regis Bahrain on an island near Manama’s city center, CPN reported Feb. 26. Late last year, Starwood said it was bringing the St. Regis brand to Africa by 2011, when it would open The St. Regis Cairo with 299 rooms and 103 apartments, according to a Dec. 10 , 2007, CPN article.St. Regis is one of the luxury brands of Starwood, based in White Plains, N.Y. As reported April 8 by CPN, Starwood is in the midst of a multi-year expansion to revitalize its Sheraton Hotels & Resorts brand. The company plans to spend $2 billion in North America alone on the Sheraton growth plan. A Jan. 31, CPN story noted that the company planned to increase its portfolio by 50 percent over the next five years across its brands. Much of its growth is occurring in the Asia Pacific market, where it expects to grow by more than 70 percent.Las Vegas Sands Corp. is one of the leading international developers of multi-use integrated resorts. The Las Vegas-based firm is the parent company of The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort–Hotel–Casinos, Sands Expo and Convention Center, and The Sands Macao and The Venetian Macao in the People’s Republic of China Special Administrative Region of Macao.