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Star Entertainment to give Sydney casino a facelift

THE STAR Entertainment Group recently announced plans for a new $500 million ‘six-star’ hotel complete with apartments and an updated restaurant strip to be built in Pyrmont.

The plans are a part of the ASX 100 listed company’s renovation of Sydney’s main casino, fittingly named The Star, as it prepares to take on competition from James Packer’s proposed Crown resort and casino which is set to be built at Barangaroo.

The Star Entertainment Group’s development would include a 220 room hotel and 150 residences and would be in addition to the renovations currently being undertaken which are costing a reported $500 million.

The current works include the refurbishment of rooms at the Astral Tower and Residences, the opening of the new Harvet Buffet restaurant, work on the arrivals area and a complete upgrade of the internal spaces including the VIP casino rooms.

A design competition for the new hotel, to be branded as a part of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is already underway, with the three architects which will be involved in the development to be announced next week.

Star Entertainment Group are also planning to commence a community engagement program as a part of the design excellence program.

Once the design has been finalised and the relevant approvals to start building have been granted it is expected the new hotel could be open for business as soon as 2020 – one year ahead of the proposed opening of Crown Sydney at Bangaroo.

Matt Bekier, the managing director of The Star Entertainment Group, said Sydney is in desperate need of more quality hotels and entertainment.

“Our development concept will take The Star’s room inventory to more than 1000, bring The Ritz-Carlton brand back to Sydney, and add a further 20 food and beverage venues,” Mr Bekier said.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel will compliment the existing hotel at the site, The Darling at The Star – one of the limited five-star hotels which has been built in NSW since the Sydney Olympics back in 2000.

The final proposal will be decided by an expert design review panel including The Star Sydney managing director Greg Hawkins, NSW government architect Peter Poulet, Group GSA director Lisa-Maree Carrigan, UTS professor and Six Degrees Urban director Craig Allchin and Marriott International’s regional vice-president of hotel development, Asia Pacific, James Doolan.

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said the new hotel would add vibrancy to the Western Harbor Precinct and has predicted it will be popular particularly amongst wealthy Chinese tourists who want to stay in luxury hotels.

“This will be outstanding for Sydney and will be a much-needed second six-star hotel for the city,” Ms Forsythe said.

“We are a service city and tourists make a choice on quality and The Star is meeting this market with the proposed development.”

The Star Entertainment Group is also undertaking an upgrade of its Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino on The Gold Coast valued at $345 million dollars as the city prepares to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

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