A 61-story hotel could be coming to the New South Wales skyline in the near future. That is, if the Star Entertainment Group gets its way. It has petitioned the government for the rights to construct the building, which will be the home to a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on a section of property that sits inside the boundaries of The Star Sydney casino and entertainment complex.
Star, along with its Hong Kong partner, Chow Tai Fook Group and Far East Consortium, Ltd., have announced that the $360.6-million project will offer 220 six-star hotel rooms and 200 private apartments. The tower will also include a rooftop terrace, two gyms, a spa and wellness center and a public restaurant. It would be located adjacent to the casino complex, which also holds the new Sydney International Convention Center, The Bays Precinct, Darling Harbour and the Sydney Fishmarket. However, the hotel petition did not mention whether or not any additions to the casino were being considered.
The Star Sydney is currently the second largest casino in Australia and is a frequent venue for Asian high-rollers. Star announced that it had partnered with the Hong Kong-based Chow Tai last March, suggesting that the partnership would help it to leverage the “expertise, networks, customer bases and loyalty programs” of both companies in order to drive additional VIP growth.
In addition to the hundreds of millions that it would spend on the hotel, Star has already committed itself to investing over $360 million in the existing installations, “including the comprehensive refurbishment of the Astral Tower and Residences, work on the arrivals area, and upgrading of internal spaces, including VIP facilities.”
According to Star CEO Matt Bekier, “Forecasts suggest Australia’s current visitation of around 8.3 million international visitors per annum will rise to 15 million a year inside a decade. To cater for that demand, we need the necessary tourism infrastructure. Sydney lacks sufficient high-end hotels to meet this wave of international tourist demand, led by the rapidly expanding wealthy Chinese middle-class demographic. Australia currently attracts just 1 percent of China’s international outbound travelers.”
Star is involved in several other casino projects in Australia; most notably, The Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino resort. That resort is expected to open during the second half of 2022 and Star is expected to have a 50% stake in the operations. The resort was initially expected to cost around $1.3 billion; however, revised estimates have pushed the anticipated cost to $1.73 billion.