Touching "every area" of guest experience

New Venetian Resort owner Apollo planning $1B property-wide renovations

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New The Venetian Resort Las Vegas owner Apollo Global Management is planning to spend more than $1 billion to update the property, president and CEO of The Venetian Patrick Nichols confirmed in a recent interview. The investment would represent one of the most significant updates to a Strip venue in years.

Nichols revealed the update plans to Travel + Leisure, stating the company is “investing north of $1 billion touching every area of the guest experience.” The Venetian’s new CEO said Apollo is looking to elevate experiences resort-wide, from arrival to amenities within the property and more. Nichols took the helm at Venetian in June, having previously served as the general manager of the Cosmopolitan.

"Arrival experiences will be different. For both The Venetian and The Palazzo, we plan to renovate, remodel, and redesign all of our suites,” Nichols told T+L. “We will be offering a number of new [food-and-beverage] concepts, we are taking a deep look at entertainment, nightlife, and bar offerings, and the casino floor will feel significantly different as well.”

Patrick Nichols

Apollo had already announced a commitment to continuing to invest in the iconic Strip property back when it acquired The Venetian earlier this year. Updates will also include the debut of a “reimagined” Venetian pool deck, a 47,000-square-foot, $50-million TAO Beach Dayclub in partnership with TAO Group, and the first U.S. outpost from chef Tetsuya Wakuda this year.

Nichols further told the cited source that the property has engaged Los Angeles-based design collective RIOS to master plan the redevelopment, although The Venetian won’t modify its Italian theme as part of the update. "We are a themed hotel and we will always be a themed hotel," Nichols noted. "That sets us apart, but the Italy of the '90s that The Venetian was modeled after has evolved.”

Las Vegas Sands first announced the sale of The Venetian, Palazzo and Venetian Expo. to Apollo and VICI Properties for $6.25 billion in March last year. Private equity giant Apollo paid $2.25 billion for the operating rights to the venues, while real estate investment trust (REIT) VICI paid $4 billion for the real estate. The transaction closed in February this year.

The Venetian first opened its doors in May 1999, with a construction cost of $1.5 billion, which made it the most expensive integrated resort at that time. The proposed enhancements would allow the venue to remain up-to-date within a context of fierce competition in the Strip.

As for timing, Nichols told T+L that construction walls are already up in The Palazzo, where Apollo has started on spaces, including the city’s first Israeli dining concepts from chef Eyal Shani. The idea to bring Shani’s eateries to the property came in no small part from chief content officer Michael Gruber, whose strategy for The Venetian also calls to scale up entertainment offerings from 70-110 shows per year to 700-1,000 yearly shows.

The Venetian has also a partnership in place with Madison Square Garden Entertainment to construct a $1.85-billion MSG Sphere entertainment venue, on track to become one of the world’s largest spherical structures. Moreover, The Palazzo pool will be renovated in the near future, among other upcoming additions.

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