News that Las Vegas Sands Macau unit signed a franchise deal to brand its resort project on Macau’s Cotai Strip as a 600-room luxury Hilton-brand Conrad Hotel caught my eye this week. I have found it a curious development decision by Hilton Worldwide to expand Waldorf Astoria Collection over the past few years while Conrad Hotels, Hilton’s other luxury brand, didn’t grow much in the past decade.
All that is about to change as the Conrad Hotel brand expands rapidly through half a dozen properties opening in China, and several more Conrad hotels opening in India, Indonesia and South Korea over the next couple of years. The list of Conrad Hotels will grow by more than a dozen. Conrad Hotels locator.
Hotel Owners are not Brand Exclusive
The interesting aspect of the Conrad Hotel signing is the franchising of different hotel properties with three different major hotel brands – Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood Hotels for the $4 billion Sands Cotai Central project in Macau by Sands China, a development company of Las Vegas Sands that also owns The Venetian Macau and Macau Sands.
Sands Cotai Central will open the 5-star Conrad Macau with 600 rooms and a 4-star Holiday Inn with over 1,200 rooms in early 2012. Sheraton Macau with over 4,000 rooms is a project that halted construction a couple of years ago and is now scheduled for June 2012 opening to be followed with Sheraton Towers opening in 2013. This will be the largest hotel property in the Starwood chain.
A side note for Priority Club members is in 2011 The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Las Vegas were cobranded as an InterContinental Alliance Resort with the ability for guests to earn and burn Priority Club points. These two InterContinental Alliance Resorts were soon joined by The Montelucia Scottsdale which had been an InterContinental Hotel and then was sold and rebranded in May 2011 as Montelucia InterContinental Alliance Resort.
Macau is actually the premier gambling destination in the world surpassing Las Vegas where gambling revenues yield only about one-third of the US$20 billion gambling revenue of Asia’s premier casino resort destination. The Venetian Macau is a 3,000 suite property not associated with a major hotel brand – yet.
Wall Street Journal (August 5, 2011)