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by Michael J. Shapiro | September 07, 2011

Construction is under way on the 50,000-square-foot Event Center at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (Pa.); the multipurpose venue will open in May 2012. The Eastern Pennsylvania casino intends to draw more meetings, conventions and entertainment business to the property with the addition, which will seat 3,000 for events and host banquets for up to 1,000 attendees. In May of this year, a 300-room hotel opened at the resort with 5,000 square feet of meeting space and a restaurant by Emeril Lagasse. A luxury outlet shopping center will open in November with about eight stores, to be followed by an official grand opening in February 2012 with several more. The casino itself offers several food-and-beverage options, as well as 3,000 slot machines and 129 table games.