The Star underwent an $870m renovation just a few years back but Echo says the new nine-figure gussying-up is necessary if The Star is going to compete with Crown Resorts’ new venue. The VIP-focused Crown Sydney is scheduled to open in 2019, the year Echo’s casino monopoly in Sydney expires.
The Australian reported that Echo’s planned improvements include a complete redevelopment of The Star’s lobby and an increase in the 350 hotel rooms currently available at the Astral Tower. The Star enjoys a high occupancy rate and Echo clearly believes there’s sufficient demand to warrant an expansion. The tower will also be given themed levels, including a “1970s glam” offering, so plenty of time to find that old white Saturday Night Fever suit at the back of your closet.
Echo also plans to ramp up the luxury at the Astral Residences serviced apartment complex, adding an “upmarket” executive lounge, conference facilities and a business center. Echo will fund the expansion via cash reserves. The work is targeted for completion by 2017.
Echo has already committed $345m to the renovation of its Jupiters Gold Coast property. In Queensland, Echo has pledged to build a multi-billion mega resort in Brisbane via a consortium with Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and the Far East Corporation. But Crown is also vying to win the Brisbane casino license and the winner won’t be known until later this year.