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Authentic Recreation of Venice Takes Shape on Vegas Strip

19 August 1998

LAS VEGAS -- The highly anticipated Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino topped-out its 35 floor hotel tower on August 19. To commemorate the occasion, the renaissance-Venice themed resort released 100 white doves from a gondola amid the cheers of 2,500 construction workers and project executives.

"Spending over a billion dollars on recreating a city as famous as Venice, a city rich with architectural history, was a tremendous and ambitious undertaking and has required immense cooperation from all construction trades," said William P. Weidner, president and COO of The Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, during a ceremony held atop the resort's five acre pool deck for construction workers and company executives closely associated with the project. "All those involved with this project should be proud of the effort they've given so far. Topping out is a clear signal all facets of construction are coming together as originally planned. When complete, we intend to unveil a project that is unmatched in Las Vegas.

Construction on the all-suite hotel/resort, retail, casino and convention complex began on April 14, 1997 and is scheduled to be completed on or before, April 21, 1999.

"Now that installation of all structural steel for the hotel tower and podium are complete, we will shift our focus to the exterior and interior facades that bring the intricate details of renaissance-Venice to life," said Weidner of the $1.2 billion mega-resort modeled after Venice. "As the weeks progress, The Venetian will transform into the buildings and architecture that make Venice famous."

As of early August, the steel framing of the 315-foot Campanile Tower, the famous bell tower that adorns Venice's St. Mark's Square, was 100% complete.

"We are dedicating our efforts to carefully rebuild all the famous icons of Venice to full-scale such as the Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square, the Campanile Tower, the Rialto Bridge, and the Grand Canal—all with the finest detail," Weidner added.

"When we are done, people will be amazed at how we were able to authentically recreate renaissance-Venice, build the world's largest hotel, retail and convention complex, and create the best appointed and largest standard rooms at the highest quality," Weidner added.

Upon completion, The Venetian will boast the world's largest hotel and convention complex, which includes 3,036 hotel suites, the first all-suites hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard; approximately 116,000 square feet of gaming floor; approximately 500,000 square feet of retail space at The Grand Canal Shops; approximately 500,000 square feet of meeting space at The Venetian Congress Center; and a direct link to the approximately 1.15 million square foot Sands Expo and Convention Center.

In addition, The Venetian expects to offer unmatched world-class dining and entertainment with owner/operated restaurants such as Joachim Splichal's "Pinot Las Vegas," The Cheesecake Factory's "Grand Lux Cafe," Emeril Lagasse's "Delmonico Steakhouse," and Il Fornaio's " Canaletto." The project also expects to premiere the first-ever stateside "Madame Tussaud's Museum" and the first "SpaClub by Canyon Ranch," one of the world's most elite health resorts.

"In keeping with our strategy to redefine Las Vegas' culture, The Venetian's goal is to reach beyond the simple 'must see' approach to achieving the 'must see, stay, dine, shop and experience' by assembling premium hotel rooms, brand name restaurants, exclusive retail, state-of-the-art gaming and convention space in one spot and under one roof," Weidner said.

To find out more about The Venetian, visit

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