Venetian Hotel


It probably makes sense, if we’re going to discuss the majestic Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, to dig into Sheldon Adelson’s history.

Sheldon Adelson was born on August 4, 1933 and grew up in the Dorchester area of Boston. His father’s family was of Ukranian and Lithuanian ancestry. He came from humble beginnings. His mother immigrated from England and, his grandfather was a Welsh coal miner. His father was a taxi driver, and Sheldon’s mother ran a knitting shop

Sheldon Adelson The venetian hotel las vegas

He began his business career very young at the age of 12 when he borrowed $200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston. At the age of 15, In 1948, he borrowed $10,000 from his uncle to start a candy
vending-machine business.

He was never really committed to higher education. He attended the City College of New York – but didn’t graduate. He later attended trade school with an interest in becoming a court reporter but had a change of heart and in 1948 joined the U.S. army.

After leaving the army, he established a business selling toiletry kits, then started another business, De-Ice-It, which marketed a chemical spray that cleared ice from windshield. In the 1960s, he started a charter tour business.

He soon became a millionaire, although by his thirties he had built and lost his fortune twice! If nothing else the man was tenacious! Over the course of his business career, Adelson created about 50 businesses!

In the late 1970s, Adelson and his partners developed the COMDEX trade shows for the computer industry. COMDEX became one of the biggest computer trade shows in the world through much of the 1980s and 1990s.

In 1995, Adelson and his partners sold the Interface Group Show Division, including the COMDEX shows, to the Softbank Group of Japan for $862 million. It is believed Adelson’s share was over $500 million!

The Adelson evolution continues...

The genesis for the Venetian actually started back In 1988 when Adelson purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $110 million. The next year, he and his partners built the Sands Expo and Convention Center. At the time it was the only privately owned and operated convention center in the United States.

Never one to settle or slow down, In April 1996, Sheldon Adelson announced plans to create the largest resort on the Strip. The project would be built on the former Sands property. In November 1996 the Sands Hotel was imploded to make way for The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino.

venetian hotel and casino las vegas
The hotel’s inspiration

The hotel’s inspiration originates from Venice, Italy and features architectural replicas of numerous Venetian landmarks, including the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Piazzetta di San Marco, the Lion of Venice Column and the Column of Saint Theodore, Saint Mark’s Campanile and the Rialto Bridge.

The Venetian opened on May 3,1999, with lots of fanfare as well as singing gondoliers. To top it off the iconic actress, Sophia Loren, joined Adelson for the illustrious occasion.

The Venetian Hotel and Casino las vegas

The Venetian includes an indoor shopping mall known as the Grand Canal Shoppes. The Venetian Convention and Expo Center serves as the convention center for the Venetian and Palazzo. In October 2001, the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum opened within the resort, featuring its zrst collection.

Built at a cost of $1.5 billion, it was one of the most expensive resorts of its kind when it opened. On June 27, 2003, the 1,013-room Venezia Tower opened. It was built on top of the garage parking lot.

The venetian hotel hero room las vegas

The Venetian-Palazzo complex features the world’s second largest hotel with 4,049 rooms, 3,068 suites and a 120,000 square feet casino!

Behind all the glitz and glamour it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Adelson and the Venetian. In 2004, the Venetian agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to settle a 12-count Gaming Control Board issue.

One of the 12 complaints alleged the hotel had held a drawing for a
Mercedes Benz automobile that was rigged to be won by a high roller who had lost a large amount of money in the casino. The executives involved were fired.

The Venetian Hotel Tower

The Venetian hotel tower is 36 stories tall. The Venetian resort complex includes the adjacent Palazzo Resort and The Venetian Convention and Expo Center. Currently under construction is the high-tech MSG Sphere at The Venetian.

In 2007 the Venetian’s sister property, The Venetian Macao, opened in Macao.

In October 2011, the Cantor Race & Sportsbook opened, which was the only Las Vegas sportsbook that was open 24 hours a day.
In 2013 more trouble surfaced for Adelson and his beloved Venetian. The Venetian was forced to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $47.4 million to settle charges over “alleged money laundering activities”. Details of the matter were not generally released to the public.

In 2015, the resort’s TAO Nightclub generated over $50 million in revenue. TAO features an inznity edge pool stocked with koi, eight private “sky boxes” with mini-bars, a 40-foot-long terrace with views of the Strip, and two dance rooms. TAO Beach, located on top of TAO Nightclub, is the Venetian’s day club and pool party. It offers seven cabanas housing a television, DVD player, Xbox360, a stocked mini-fridge and a safe to protect valuables.


By the latter part of 2020 the Las Vegas Sands decided to focus on its Macau operations, expecting Asia to recover from the COVID pandemic faster than Las Vegas. The company was in early negotiations to sell the Venetian, the Palazzo and the Sands Expo when Sheldon Adelson died in January 2021.

A couple of months later the company announced the sale of the three Las Vegas facilities for $6.25 billion.

the venetian-lobby las vegas

The Venetian-Palazzo complex features the world’s second largest hotel with 4,049 rooms, 3,068 suites and a 120,000 square feet casino!

Vici Properties bought the land under the facilities for $4 billion, and Apollo Global Management acquired the operations for $2.25 billion as part of a triple net lease agreement with Vici. The sale was znalized in February 2022. The Sands Expo was renamed the Venetian Expo.

The era of the visionary Sheldon Adelson ended with his death – but his creations live on…

Other Hotels and Resorts in Las vegas….

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