ith Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Gregory C. Fajt, and Bethlehem Mayor John B. Callahan all in attendance, LVS Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson said the company was excited to have opened its first US property outside of Las Vegas and he predicted a long and successful partnership between Sands Bethlehem, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the residents and businesses of the local community.
"We like to say that not all casino resort properties are created equal and with its advantageous location, intriguing design, and its popular amenities - like Emeril Lagasse's Chop House - we think Sands Bethlehem will become the new standard against which other regional casino properties will be judged," said Adelson.
"With its close proximity to New York, Philadelphia, and the northern New Jersey suburbs, we are confident Sands Bethlehem will quickly become and remain one of the region's top gaming and entertainment destinations."
Situated on the site of the historic Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and located approximately 60 minutes from Philadelphia and the northern New Jersey suburbs, and 90 minutes from New York City, Sands Bethlehem debuted with 3,000 state-of-the-art slot machines and a new signature restaurant from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. In addition to Emeril's Chop House, the resort features an authentic Irish pub, a 24-hour Cafe, and the varied offerings and cuisines of The Market Gourmet Express. It is also home to the Molten lounge, which features live entertainment seven days a week.
Adelson said Las Vegas Sands worked extremely hard to preserve and protect the heritage of the historic location and that the redevelopment of a major Brownfield site such as this could be used as a model for other Brownfield locations across the country. He cited significant tax revenue for state and local communities, the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and increased tourism as the major benefits of such redevelopment efforts.
Sands Bethlehem President Robert DeSalvio said he was most proud of the fact that the property opening created 1,000 new jobs. "The positive impact of Sands Bethlehem has already been felt by hundreds of families who have had a parent, relative, or friend find a new job in this building," said DeSalvio.
He added that in addition to the direct jobs created through the opening of the Sands, hundreds of additional indirect jobs have been created or maintained to provide ancillary support for the property. "We truly hope that with this economic engine now set in motion it will serve as a strong catalyst for long-term economic growth and prosperity for the entire community," he concluded.
Sands Bethlehem will open an additional 2,000 slot machines in late November. The development also consists of plans for a 300-room hotel, 18,580 sqm of shopping space for popular retailers and designers, and nearly 4,645 sqm of flexible multi-purpose space, which will allow the property to accommodate meetings, conventions, and a variety of special events.