Several of Macao’s integrated resorts now have non-gaming elements outside the property as well as inside, in a bid to boost demand of a more diverse clientele.
Following the publication of the Macao Government’s Five- Year Development Plan – a recently-announced package of social and economic policies covering the period 2016 to 2020 – the Government outlined its objective to see non-gaming revenue at the city’s integrated resorts rise in proportion to all revenue. By 2020 the Macao Government hopes to see non-gaming revenue account on average for at least 9 percent of all revenue generated by Macao resort operators, compared to an estimated 6.6 percent in 2014.
Wynn Palace and Parisian Macao officially opened in August and September 2016 respectively. These new properties combine gaming, tourism, a resort, convention and exhibition, leisure and shopping facilities. Macao’s promotion of moderate economic diversification and the construction of a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure will also boost the growth of Cotai.
Entertainment takes centre stage at Parisian Macao
The most recent example in Cotai is the US$2.7 billion (MOP21.6-billion) Parisian Macao, operated by Sands China Ltd., with its half-size version of Paris’s Eiffel Tower. The 3,000-room Parisian Macao opened on 13 September 2016.
“The Cotai Strip has become one of the world’s greatest tourism marvels,” said Sands China Chairman and Chief Executive, Sheldon G. Adelson, on the opening day of the Parisian Macao.
“Before our very eyes, Macao is making a similar transition to the one it took Las Vegas decades to make,” evolving to a destination that “offers a wide variety of activities, attractions and amenities for people of all backgrounds, income levels and interests,” added Mr Adelson.
Sands China’s newest resort has also outdoor on-site attractions to draw in visitors. At the Parisian Macao, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated with its own memorable light show.
Inside Macao’s newest entertainment resort, event hosting is an important feature of the non-gaming events on offer. The Parisian Macao has a total of 5,200 square metres (55,972 sq. feet) meeting space. The 3,400-square-metre Parisian Ballroom can accommodate up to 2,600 people at banquet-style events. The property is also linked by airconditioned corridor to the meeting space in Cotai Expo at the Venetian Macao.
A Paris-themed shopping mall at the Parisian Macao – Shoppes at Parisian – has a roster of 150 outlets according to Sands China, and its street names are derived from five of the French capital’s most chic shopping areas.
Sands China President, Wilfred Wong, said on the opening day of Parisian Macao that the company “has deep roots in Macao” and is “very proud to be able to grow together with the city”.
“Operating in Macao as an integrated resort developer has given Sands China the unique opportunity and privilege to contribute to the city’s transformation into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure,” said Mr Wong.
The Parisian Macao introduced entertainment with mass-market appeal for its launch. The Parisian Theatre’s show for the property’s launch was a one-month residency of Thriller Live; a Michael Jackson tribute show direct from London’s West End. The 1,200-seat Parisian Theatre is described by the company as the “perfect space for entertainment to complement conferences, events, or weddings in the Ballroom”.
Paying customers also have access to Aqua World, a miniature water theme park on the Parisian Macao podium. Aqua World features three separate pool areas, which the management says are suitable for all ages.
MICE business a key component of Wynn Palace
Wynn Palace resort, the latest property from Wynn Macau Ltd., is being marketed as a destination for business events and special events including weddings.
The new property – which was launched on 22 August 2016 – has added non-gaming amenities to its resort operations, in line with the ambitions of the Macao SAR Government for the moderate diversification of the city’s economy.
The 1,700-room Wynn Palace features 1,614 square metres of event space and a further 603 square metres of meeting space, as well as two boardrooms with an aggregate of 222 square metres; that are also available for hire. Wynn Palace has been positioned by its promoters as a major venue for weddings. Its Grand Theatre Ballroom has banquet seating for up to 960 guests.
As one of Macao’s newest resorts, Wynn Palace additionally has outdoor on-site attractions as part of its general entertainment. Wynn Palace’s Performance Lake is a signature attraction of the venue, and is enhanced by a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system.
Viewed from the exterior of the complex, the lake frames the front of the property and provides an attractive opportunity for photographs. Viewed from within the property, the lake provides a glamorous backdrop for diners and other visitors to the resort.
The lake features choreographed music and water fountain displays; with the addition, after dark, of a spectacular light show. Gondolas referred to as SkyCabs are available to take visitors on a scenic ride above the lake.
For visitors and guests at the property, Wynn Palace’s shops feature a selection of more than 50 of the world’s best-known luxury consumer brands throughout the 200,000 square feet of its retail space known as Wynn Esplanade.
Wynn Palace also features a mix of fine and casual dining outlets in a style that has become the hallmark of Macao’s best entertainment resorts.
Wynn Palace has additionally chosen some highbrow culture to entertain its guests. It includes several pieces of Chinese art, and several memorable pieces by Western artists.
For the launch of Wynn Palace, the company moved a set of four Chinese vases – made during the Jiaqing period in the late 18th and early 19th century – from Wynn Macau, the firm’s property on Macao peninsula, to the Wynn Palace VIP registration area. The firm’s founder Steve Wynn paid a world record US$12.8 million for the vases at a 2011 sale in London.
As well as fine art, the property has also made floral art a major theme, with floral sculptures custom-made for Wynn Palace by renowned designer Preston Bailey. The floral sculptures, one of a Carousel and the other a Ferris Wheel, each consist of more than 100,000 real flowers.
As diversification is crucial for the Macao market, it is expected that the two new properties will add something different and something special to the market.