The most recent shot in the war over prime casino customers was fired this week by The Star in Sydney, with the opening of a brand new, multi-million-dollar nightclub Marquee. It was a star-studded affair, with DJ Afrojack doing the honours on the clubs first night, and of course he had girlfriend Paris Hilton in the crowd to cheer him on.
Marquee is the latest addition to the Star Sydney site, which is beginning to establish itself as a highlight of the Sydney social scene: the sin city tag certainly seems to be doing nothing at all to deter revellers from dropping by The Star for the bars, restaurants and hotels, not to mention the odd evening in the casino, which offers an incredible selection of table games from Poker in various forms to Roulette, Craps and Blackjack.
Marquee is reportedly a AU$25million development, and offers as many as 1200 guests 180-degree views of the harbour, as well as three themed rooms to suit their tastes. One is a library-styled lounge room, complete with walls lined with books and roaring fires (sounds just the thing to make your big night out seem like a cosy night in...).
The publicity generated by the clubs opening will do The Star no harm at all, and bosses at Echo Entertainment will no doubt be hoping that the seriously big names on the guest list will draw more and more customers to the casino, too. It might seem like a lot to spend on an opening night (Paris Hilton comes with a six-figure price tag for an appearance, were told), but The Stars policy in recent months has been to position itself as a luxury destination.
So Hilton will have stayed in the boutique hotel attached to the casino The Darling and enjoyed quite a night of luxury, were sure. All of this effort is aimed at luring VIP customers to the casino floor (or to the private casino rooms in The Darlings penthouse suites), in the hope that The Star can corner as big a share as possible of the high-roller market, especially the whales, who make their way from China and the rest of the world to gamble some serious sums in Australias casinos.
Competition is fierce from Crown Casinos, and specifically from the Crown Melbourne resort, but the grand opening of Marquee has put The Star in the headlines, and Echo will be hoping that equates directly to more custom. Time will tell...