Reed Travel Features
LAS VEGAS -- Call it an attraction for the attraction. A $1.5
million preview center opened on the former site of the Sands Hotel
to afford visitors a glimpse of what is being planned for the $2
billion Venetian casino resort complex, whose first phase is
scheduled to open in spring 1999. The preview center, which opened
to the public Aug. 1, features stone walkways, a gondola and a
canal as well as a fully appointed replica of a luxury suite that
represents what will be a typical guest room at the Venetian.
The 700-square-foot suite boasts a marble foyer, a sunken living
room, a fully stocked bar and two-line telephones in the bathroom,
bedroom and living areas. A third telephone line will be linked to
an in-room fax, copier and printer.
Visitors also can purchase Venetian merchandise and souvenirs at
the center, which is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a
Plans for the resort complex include two suite hotels, two
casinos, 15 restaurants, the country's largest private convention
center and the Grand Canal Shoppes, which will bring 150 retail
stores under one roof. The layout of the resort also will feature
such classic Venetian landmarks as the Doges' Palace, the
Campanile, Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.
The Venetian is expected to attract 8 million conventioneers, 20
million restaurant and retail customers as well as millions of
hotel guests annually. Several of the 15 gourmet restaurants to be
included in the project are Wolfgang Puck's ObaChine, whose menu
will include cuisine from Southeast Asia; Pinot Bistro, a casual
spinoff of Patina, a popular Los Angeles restaurant; Carnivale and
the Grand Luxe Cafe, created by David Overton, president and chief
executive officer of the Cheesecake Factory. Another eatery, as yet
unnamed, will be created by Piero Selvaggio, owner of
The entertainment area, a four-level dining and performance
space called Billboard Live, is being developed in conjunction with
Billboard magazine. A 1,800-seat theater is planned to host pop,
jazz and blues artists. For convention business, plans call for the
Sands Expo Center to be expanded to 1.6 million square feet.
For more information, the preview center can be reached at (702)
697-5922 or (702) 697-5923.