Glitz, glamor and out-and-out luxury are just a few images that conjure in the mind when a casino district such as Macau or Las Vegas is mentioned, so it is quite fitting that Italian fashion house Gianni Versace SpA (sic) has announced plans to build a new luxury hotel at a Macau casino.
Asia Palazzo Expansion
The planned development will be their first hotel project in Asia and the third overall undertaken by Versace after Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast in Australia, and a hotel in Dubai which is currently still under construction.
The Italian Versace has announced that it has penned a deal with SJM Holdings, one of just six firms authorized to operate casino games under the terms granted by the Macau government, for the five-star Palazzo Versace to be a part of the resort currently being built by the company.
Earlier this year, SJM Holdings – which was founded by billionaire Stanley Ho – was officially given the go-ahead for the development of a casino resort comprised of 2000 rooms, 700 gambling tables and 1,000 slot machines. And since Macau has grown to become the largest gambling market in the world, there is no better place at the moment for investing developers in the industry.
The investment will be the first SJM Holdings development on the Cotai Strip, which is seen as Asia’s very own Las Vegas strip, and as Macau is the only legal gambling venue in China, it is little wonder that the location has grown to such a magnitude, raking in $38 billion in revenue generated from casinos last year alone due to the popularity of gambling among Chinese tourists, which is six times the revenue generated by the Las Vegas strip; $3.8 billion was reportedly generated in July alone of this year from the new gambling capital of the world.
Versace and Macau a Good Fit
And for Versace, the deal with SJM Holdings opens up their products to the affluent Chinese tourist market who are visiting Macau with money burning a hole in their pockets. The two most popular boutiques currently owned by Versace are actually located in Macau, the former Portuguese colony, according to Gianni Versace’s Asia Pacific public relations and communications director, Polly Cheung.
In fact, SJM Holdings managing director Angela Long, who Stanley Ho has made his fourth wife, is also a “major customer” of the Versace brand, and will undoubtedly take ample opportunity to peruse the luxury fashion products as they come in.
Attaching such a popular brand should assist SJM Holdings as they look to expand onto the Cotai Strip, where they will be rivals to some of the most popular casinos in the world. The deal will also help SJM Holdings dispel any worries by investors who doubt the company’s abilities to develop a Las Vegas-style casino resort.
So far, neither Versace nor SJM Holdings have released any of the details including financial expenses, designs or even an estimated completion date; but with the growth of Macau, the deal will likely go ahead as soon as possible. However, it is not expected to open prior to 2015.