BEIRUT, Oct. 4 -- Casino du Liban is studying offers from 74 international companies bidding to win an estimated $50 million project to modernize its war-damaged buildings, casino Chairman Habib Ltaif said Tuesday. Ltaif said bids from U.S., European, Asian and Arab companies will be selected within weeks and the finalists asked to present details of their financial proposals.
The estimate cost of the project was put at $50 million and will include the construction of a 200-room hotel, he said in an interview. The Casino, which enjoyed a worldwide reputation after it opened in 1962 and until Lebanon's 16-year civil war erupted in 1975, was expected to generate monthly revenues of $2 million. 'Such high revenues will make its financing tempting and easy,' Ltaif said. He said Casino du Liban use bank loans and money from its shareholders to pay for the project. Ltaif said Casino du Liban, in the Maameltein area north of Beirut, would open in May, but the date for completion of the hotel complex would depend on the winning bid. 'This is a very competitive touristic project for Lebanon that would re-attract foreign visitors and money,' he said.