Mandalay Bay unveils plans for all-suite tower


LAS VEGAS -- In a city where construction never seems to end, the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino unveiled plans for a tower just as it was about to put the finishing touches on another project.

Anticipating brisk business at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center -- which is on schedule for a January opening -- the property rolled out plans for a 1,150-suite tower to be connected to the hotel.

Mandalay Bay's new tower will be connected to the hotel, above.The tower will cater to the increased meetings and convention business the convention center will attract, according to John Marz, Mandalay Resort's senior vice president of marketing and events.

"Before we announced we would build a suite tower, meeting planners told us it was a great idea," Marz said.

"Groups like to do entertaining in suites, and business people like to work in suites because they're better equipped than a normal hotel room from a technology standpoint.

"From a room standpoint, we'll be competitive with the Venetian, and I know that our rooms will be the largest in town," Marz said.

The suites will average 750 square feet. In addition, the hotel said it plans to construct 24 hospitality suites, a spa, a fitness center, a business center, a restaurant and a lounge.

Groundbreaking for the tower will begin in September, and Mandalay Bay is targeting October 2003 for the opening. The convention center will become the third largest in Las Vegas, behind the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

"There's a lot of demand out there, and there are only two [major] convention centers in town," Marz said. "Some groups with big shows could not get in. We felt the city could use another first-class convention and trade show center."

Marz said the tower and convention center will be part of a network that connects Mandalay Bay to the Luxor and the Excalibur with an indoor walkway, making it easier for delegates to take advantage of all three properties.

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