he company now expects the project will cost about us$ 1.8 billion due to design changes, from a previous estimate of us$ 1.2 billion, the South China Morning Post reported. Galaxy, which is controlled by the family of Lui Che-woo, is seeking new funding for the project, which will include three hotels with 2,200 rooms on the reclaimed land.
The project is on an area known as the Cotai strip alongside other mega projects operated by U.S. gaming giant Las Vegas Sands and local heavyweight Melco Crown. Promoters say Cotai could become Asia's equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip.
Galaxy officials said on Wednesday the new resort will have an opening date of the first quarter of 2011, implying construction could soon resume at full speed after a slowdown last year during the financial crisis.
They said the budget increase is due to a change in scope for the project, which will include Galaxy, Okura and Banyan Tree-branded hotels and a series of swimming pools atop a casino podium. The resort would also feature an artificial beach with 350 tonnes of white sand.
A resumption of normal construction would come as Galaxy rival Sands prepares an IPO for its Macau properties that could raise more than us$ 3 billion.
Sands already operates the Venetian resort in Cotai, but suspended construction last year on several other mega projects in the area to conserve cash at the height of the financial crisis. It hopes to use money from the IPO and other sources to resume some construction in the near term.