Australia: Sydney’s billion dollar casino expansion race

June 24, 2013

Business, International

Sydney’s most expensive hotel room could be at the Star at Pyrmont

Star Sydney

Lucy Carroll
The Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY- Personal butlers, an infinity pool, a private sauna and massage room – that’s what $25,000 ($23,007 US) A a night will buy you in the Star casino’s proposed luxury villas for high rollers.

Five of the villas will be built on the rooftop of the Star at Pyrmont, each measuring 260 square metres over three floors and featuring large decks with waterfront views.

The plans are part of Echo Entertainment’s $1.1 billion ($1,009 billion US)proposal for the Star casino which also includes two new hotels with more than 500 rooms and a waterpark.

The massive Echo redevelopment will rival James Packer’s proposed casino and hotel at Barangaroo. The competing proposals are currently being assessed by a government panel headed by former banker David Murray.

The proposed Star villas will cost $10,000-a-night more than Sydney’s current most expensive room – the two-bedroom Sydney suite at the Park Hyatt in the Rocks.

The Park Hyatt’s Sydney suite, which sets you back $15,000-a-night, has floor-to-ceiling glass walls, sauna and steam room and a 24-hour butler. There is a minimum two-night stay and it is booked out with visiting VIPs during peak summer periods.

Crown is not saying how much its most luxurious suites will cost in a future Barangaroo hotel, but guests at Mr Packer’s Crown Towers Melbourne can fork out up to $27,500-a-night to stay in the Chairman’s villa, a 1000 square metre art deco pad with a private gym and massage room.

In comparison, the two-bedroom presidential suite at the Four Seasons Hotel on George Street fetches $5500 a night, and the master suite at the Hilton Sydney has a price tag of $3000 a night.

The hefty tariff for the potential Star villas is on par with with the most expensive suites worldwide.

Guests at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas can expect to pay up to $40,000-a-night for one of the lavish fantasy suites and visitors to The Peninsula New York can bunk out in a six-bedroom suite (equipped with Wii, PlayStation and iPad) for US$24,000-a-night.

With views of Lake Geneva and bullet proof windows, the penthouse at the Hotel President Wilson Hotel in Switzerland is one of the world’s most expensive suites. At US$65,000-a-night, it is considerably more than the the Australian average taxable income.

Star Sydney

Video: The billion dollar Star
Tourism bosses have backed bold plans to expand Sydney’s Star Casino in a billion dollar expansion aimed at reeling in more local and international tourists

Video: The Star seeks to block Packer’s second casino


Star looks beyond Pyrmont
The battle for Sydney’s gambling future has stepped up, with the operators of the Star making a bold move to extend their exclusive license and stop James Packer building a rival casino. April 9, 2013

Tim Barlass, Sean Nicholls
The Sydney Morning Herald

Secret billion-dollar plans revealing key elements of one of the two bids vying to dominate the city’s casino business in the future can be revealed for the first time.

Part of the confidential proposals from the Star casino owners Echo Entertainment Group, seen by Fairfax Media and pitched against a rival Crown Casino bid, promise transformation of Pyrmont, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo into one new “integrated connected resort”.

More than 90 per cent of more than $1 billion of spending proposed by Echo – or at least $900 million – would be dedicated to “non-gaming attractions”, the proposal says.


The spending outside casino areas in Echo’s plans is being used to differentiate the bid from Crown’s high-rise Barangaroo hotel proposal, with Echo saying it is “clearly pitched at Sydneysiders just as much as VIP high rollers”.

The centrepiece of Echo’s pitch is to connect the three precincts with a new commuter and cycle bridge called City Link Bridge. It would connect Darling Island where the Star is located to the southern end of Barangaroo.

Cyclists and pedestrians would be separated in their own “lanes” and the bridge, to be designed through an international competition, would possibly open to allow passage of large ships to the National Maritime Museum. Commuters on the light rail, which extends west to Lilyfield, could alight at the stations at the Star or Pyrmont Bay and then pass across the bridge to Barangaroo.


Star Sydney

The Star

Sydney Skyline

Sydney Skyline





Sydney Skyline

Sydney Skyline

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