The Venetian Resort Turns 25, $1.5B Upgrade Announced 

VICI Properties, the real estate investment spin-off of Caesars Entertainment, this week announced it will be putting $700 million into a $1.5 billion renovation of the Venetian Resort Las Vegas property.

The casino resort first opened in 1999, built by Las Vegas Sands. Its sister property, The Palazzo, joined it on the same site in 2007.

The building and land underneath the 4,000 room hotel and casino resort is today owned by VICI. New York-based Apollo Global Management leases the property from VICI and handles the running of the business. 

Apollo says it has also committed $800 million to the project, with some of those renovations already in progress. 

“Through our work with the Apollo team over the last 18 months, we’ve made ambitious enhancements that have elevated nearly every aspect of the guest experience, while providing meaningful benefits for our team members,” said The Venetian Resort CEO and President Patrick Nichols in a press release from Apollo.

“We are incredibly excited to continue executing our plan to unlock The Venetian’s full potential.”

The Upgrades

The ongoing and planned redevelopment of the Venetian will include a comprehensive update of nearly all of its facilities and attractions. Plus many of those at neighboring property The Palazzo. 

That will cover a new high-limit gaming lounge at The Palazzo, a brand new and expansive Yahoo! Sportsbook venue with tech powered by bookmaker William Hill, a dozen new restaurants and eateries, and upgrades to the available high-end suites. 

There will also be a new poker room, set to open in summer 2024, and a massive redevelopment of the Venetian Expo convention center. 

Some near-complete upgrades include a new welcome area and bar at The Venetian entrance. The new bar is called Sala 118, referencing the 118 islands that make up the famous Venice in Italy, which inspired the Resort.

As part of the deal for stumping up $700 million to renovate, VICI will be increasing Apollo’s rent by 2% annually from 2029. 

The resort — and Las Vegas’ casinos more widely — could do with some good press to start out May. A wide-ranging federal investigation into illegal California bookmakers is currently assessing criminal gambling links to Sin City casinos, including Resorts World, The Venetian, and others. Nevada’s Gaming Control Board also reported the Silver State gambling venues’ March revenue figures, which showed the first fall in income for eight months.

The History 

The Venetian was opened on May 3, 1999, as the brainchild of the late Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. 

It was not the first Las Vegas Strip resort to forgo a generic theme and use actual re-created landmarks of other famous world places. That honor goes to the Egyptian-themed Luxor, which opened in 1993. 

However, it was a pioneer in combining a large convention center and casino hotel. 

It also did the themed concept in a novel way, bringing an entire interactive element with its gondola rides and Venetian themed waterways and shopping precincts. 

The Palazzo came along in 2007 as a sister property. When Adelson passed in 2021, Las Vegas Sands decided to divest itself of its namesake Sin City properties and focus on Asian markets in Macau and Singapore. 

That included selling The Venetian and The Palazzo to New York-based Apollo and Las Vegas-based VICI in 2022 for $6.25 billion. Apollo paid $2.25 billion to gain the operating rights to the casino resort, and VICI paid $4 billion for the land and property.

“The Venetian Resort’s innovative spirit has had a massive impact on Las Vegas over the last 25 years and paved the way for our visionary $1.5 billion reinvestment today,” said Nichols. 

“This redevelopment marks more than just a surface-level renovation,” he added. “It signifies a deep understanding of our guests and a profound reimagining of an iconic resort unlike any other in history. The beauty of this project lies within the balance of the beloved familiar and the never-before-seen.”

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