LV Sands to announce Spain choice in September
"What it's going to come down to is really what's the best location for what we want to do with this project," Michael Leven, chief operating officer, said in a news conference in Madrid, where he visited potential sites for the project one day after performing the same task in Barcelona.
Leven added that Spain’s climate, excellent tourism market and labor force made it the ideal choice for CEO Sheldon Adelson’s vision of a Las Vegas Strip-styled development in Europe, current economic conditions notwithstanding. "My personal belief is that the crisis will end at some point, while this project will go on for many years,” he said. “Our company expects to take advantage of an opportunity that we may not have again because of this situation."
The company has already initiated talks with some 30 to 40 U.S., Asian and European banks, according to Reuters, including Spanish ones, to finance the first phase of the project to build 6,000 rooms at a cost of $6 billion to $8 billion, of which Las Vegas Sands has pledged to contribute a third. Negotiations with the government are also proceeding regarding potential tax and smoking rules concessions. "There are numerous discussions with the government to modify rules, but we're talking about rules that could be modified for others in a similar situation," Leven said.