News Briefs for September 7, 2011September 7, 2011
• Caesars Entertainment Corp. will begin construction on a $550 million dining, retail, entertainment and hospitality district later this year, to be located on the heart of the Las Vegas strip. Called The Linq, the facility will span more than 200,000 square feet facing Caesars Palace and will target consumers ages 21 to 46. The Linq’s focal point will be a giant observation wheel—to be named The Las Vegas High Roller—that will peak at 550 feet high and hold 28 cabins. As part of the construction, the project will upgrade three of Caesars’ mid-Strip resorts and its gambling-only facility O’Sheas casino. Financing is already in place for The Linq, and Caesars expects to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year, with a tentative opening date slated for 2013. Thus far, no specific dining or retail clients have been announced.
• For the six months through June, French wine exports rose 5% by volume and 15% by value compared to the year-earlier period, according to trade group Ubifrance. By region, Bordeaux led the growth with a 26% sales increase and 34% value rise. Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhone Valley also showed strong gains. The Alsace, Languedoc and Loire Valley regions, however, fell by both volume and value. Ubifrance estimates that French wine exports totaled €3.1 billion ($4.3b) for the six month period.
• Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal will be relinquishing CEO duties effective January 1. He will be replaced by current president and COO Craig Jelinek, who has been with Costco for 28 years and worked closely with Sinegal for the last year and a half. Jelinek has held a series of senior-level management positions at Costco, including EVP merchandising from 2004–2010. Sinegal will remain with Costco in an advisory capacity until January 2013 and will likely continue to serve on the company’s board. In other news, Costco reported a 14% sales increase to $87 billion for its fiscal year ended August 28. Costco owns and operates 592 retail clubs in the U.S. and internationally.
• LVMH has appointed Frédéric Dufour managing director of the Maison Ruinart Champagne house, effective September 15. He replaces Jean-Marc Gallot, who’s been promoted to executive vice president, commercial activities for the group’s international division. Since joining LVMH in 1996, Dufour has held various leadership roles with Moët Hennessy Asia Pacific, MHD Hong Kong and Moët & Chandon, and was most recently international director for Veuve Clicquot since 2008. In his new role, Dufour will report directly to Gilles Hennessy, Moët Hennessy’s wines & spirits executive vice president, commercial.
• Denise Capbern-Gasqueton, owner of St. Estèphe’s Chateau Calon Segur, has died at 87 after an illustrious career as one of the most well-known figures in Bordeaux. Her daughter Hèléne and granddaughter Isabelle will continue on to lead both Calon Segur and Cru Bourgeois property Chateau Capbern Gasqueton.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.