A Tale of Two Galaxy Cotai Mega Resorts
It was the best of renderings, it was the worst of renderings.
No this isn't a Dickensian prank, framed by the blustering winds of winter and the clip clop of sugar plums (or Sic Bo dice) dancing in our heads. Consider it an early stocking stuffer for all the good boys and girls who have stuck with this coal deserving serial drama about the trials and speculations of Asia's Sin City™.
Santa won't be bringing me anything good this year - despite the extensive list I've SMS'd him - at least until the Crown Macau reviews (plural) are done. So as you watch the snow falling lightly on the primer gray 1982 Buick Le Sabre you've illegally parked outside, listen very carefully for the ring-a-ding-ding of Sinatra's Santa's sleigh. I can almost hear his trademark™ bellowing...
Ho-Ho-Ho.... and I mean YOU... Stanley, Pansy and Larry!
A Tale of Two Galaxy Cotai Mega Resorts
Through the miracle of flying reindeer, I managed to get my hands on two renderings of the Galaxy Cotai Mega Resort. The tales these two renderings tell are quite different, so only Santa knows what the little elves at Galaxy Entertainment are really up to.
This Phase II 3D rendering is based on the Autocad plans that I've looked at. Phase II will add 9-11 more hotels, depending on who you ask. This rendering has 10 hotel towers, some of which (Hotels 7-10) are to be long term rentable units or even condotels. A second casino will be located on the south west corner of the property (where there will be ZERO foot traffic from other properties). Also notable are an arena and a ferris wheel. If I had a nickel everytime a casino developer announced a ferris wheel, but never followed through - I'd probably have about a $1.20 by now. Seriously folks... forget the ferris wheel and build a damn roller coaster. It's so damn hazy and humid in Macau, who would want to stand on line outside then roast in the humid sun on a ferris wheel?
This rendering seems to be a much more down to earth master planning of Galaxy's massive plot of land. In addition to the previously outlined Hotel A/B and street level casino complex, there will be a beach and other water attractions on the top of the roof (verrrry cool). The Panda Garden has been relocated from the boon docks over by Macao Studio City to a more sensible location closer to the main hotel towers. There appears to be two more convention centers in addition to the main one next to the Phase I Theatre, the first being a circular dome by the Grand Waldo and the second attached to Casino II in the south east corner.
As for hotels, there appear to be 9 hotels offered, four of which will have apartments as well. Frankly, I'm surprised about the number of apartments they're offering here. I am aware there is a bit of a housing shortage caused by the current and future influx of casino workers, but do casino employees really want to live within a larger resort complex? If these are condos, I doubt if condopartments at Galaxy Cotai Mega Resort will having a similar appeal - living in the middle of the action - as condos at City Center in Las Vegas do. Maybe its too early to tell whether or not people from mainland China would want to invest in a timeshare on Cotai or if casino employees would be interested in living on the Cotai Strip.
The centerpiece of Phase II construction is the oddly titled circular mini-park "Galaxy Square". Round hole, square peg... I'll buy this illogical terminology much easier than a ferris wheel, which, thankfully, is nowhere to be found on these renderings.
Overall both site plans look interesting. The 3-D rendering is more architecturally interesting, but I'll bet it was put together before Galaxy had thoroughly thought through how the Mega Resort was going to jigsaw into the Cotai master plan. The 2-D rendering is much more conservative, but seems to better fit what has been and will be built in the surrounding areas. My guess is that the 2-D plan is the one they go with.
It is quite unfortunate how completely and utterly ugly the Venetian's back of house is (which sits on the road directly to the right of the Galaxy Cotai Mega Resort site. Las Vegas Sands is putting all their marbles on the other side of the street, and with LVS operating all of the gaming in hotel row, plus Wynn, MGM and City of Dreams building on that side, it makes perfect sense. With this seeming 'snub' by Venetian, Galaxy Mega Resort will have to concentrate on direct marketing to Japan, Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam instead of relying on foot traffic. It is in this light that the Hotel Okura deal and the many flavors of Asian cuisine in the main hotel's food court make even more sense.