May 01, 2011
The Venetian (1)
The Venetian (3)
On November 26, 1996, eight years after it was bought by Sheldon Adelson, the Sands Hotel was imploded to make way for The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Ground was broken April 14, 1997.
The resort opened on May 3, 1999 with flutter of white doves, sounding trumpets and singing gondoliers, with actress Sophia Loren joining The Venetian Chairman and Owner, Sheldon G. Adelson, in christening the first motorized gondola. Built at a cost of $1.5 billion, it was one of the most expensive resorts of its kind when it opened. A brief time line of the hotel's history:
September 24, 1997 — Announcement that the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes will be managed by Forest City Commercial Management.
November 14, 1997 — $1,000,000,000 financial package secured.
August 18, 1998 — Venetian Resort tops out.
August 24, 1998 — Venetian begins accepting room reservations, by phone and on-line.
May 3, 1999 — Grand opening of first phase of complex.
October 7, 2001 — The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum opened within the resort, featuring its first collection: Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings.
August 30, 2002 — The museum opened its second collection: Art Through the Ages: Masterpieces of Painting from Titian to Picasso.
May 15, 2003 — Museum opens third exhibit: American Pop Icons.
June 27, 2003 — The Venezia at the Venetian opened as an additional tower, adding 1,013 suites and a new wedding chapel.
November 7, 2003 — Museum opens exhibit: A Century of Painting: From Renoir to Rothko, featuring paintings by Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh, Renoir, and others.
March 19, 2004 — "The Nevada Gaming Commission Thursday imposed an agreed-upon $1 million fine on The Venetian for rigging contests and violating state gaming regulations but only after chastising other state agencies for not pursuing the case more vigorously. Chairman Peter Bernhard and Commissioner Art Marshall, who called the violations the "most serious" they have dealt with during their tenures on the commission, criticized the state attorney general's office and the Gaming Control Board for taking a year to bring the eight-count complaint before the commission. ... "This is the most serious complaint I've seen since I've been on the commission. The issues go to the heart of the integrity of the industry," Bernhard said. ... The Asian high roller at the center of the case, was preselected to win a Mercedes-Benz. The complaint said a Venetian executive who rigged the drawing with a cohort hid the winning ticket in his shirtsleeve and pretended to draw it randomly from a batch of entries before announcing the "winning" ticket."
October 10, 2005 — Blue Man Group officially opens at the Blue Man Theatre.
June 24, 2006 — Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular opened at a new theatre at the Venetian.