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Chris Jones

Westin Casuarina Hopes to Open Soon

4 November 2003

LAS VEGAS -- Inspection delays have pushed back indefinitely the opening of the Westin Casuarina Hotel and Spa, an approximately $80-million resort project built on the site of the former Maxim.

Clark County inspectors were at the property last week and again Monday in an ongoing effort to clear the 825-room hotel to soon welcome its first visitors, said Karen Gee-McAuley, spokeswoman for developer Columbia Sussex Corp.

"We don't have any firm date; hopefully it's going to be within the week," said Gee-McAuley, a Los Angeles-based publicist hired by Columbia Sussex, the Fort Mitchell, Ky.-based company that owns the new Westin.

Last month, Columbia Sussex Director of Development Joseph Yung told the Review-Journal he hoped the new Westin would open by the end of October. In January, another company executive said the hotel-casino would open before July 1.

"I don't know any specifics about what the issues were or what the inspectors said; I just know inspections are being completed," Gee-McAuley said of the delays that postponed the hotel's opening last week.

Yung previously said the property's 17-story hotel's tower, located east of the Strip at 160 E. Flamingo Road, required more-extensive renovations than his company initially expected.

Such setbacks have already driven away some would-be customers, sources said. The Westin was scheduled to welcome three small conventions this week, including approximately 30 people who were to have attended a seminar sponsored by Datastream, a Greenville, S.C.-based software and computer services company. That event has been moved.

"They called us last Friday at noon and told us we had to move because the hotel wouldn't be ready," said Terri Hoffman, a Datastream spokeswoman.

Hoffman added Westin officials were helpful in securing another site for the event, which will take place today at Alexis Park.

Five more convention events are slated to take place at the Westin next week, which would bring an estimated 360 guests to the property.

Gee-McAuley said the hotel's staff assisted some booked guests find other places to stay in Las Vegas over the weekend.