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Resorts World Manila operator sets P8-B budget for expansion

Posted on June 18, 2015 10:08:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ] 

TRAVELLERS International Hotel Group, Inc. yesterday announced an P8-billion spending budget this year to complete the expansion of Resorts World Manila, which it said would be the fillip to its non-gaming business.

Travellers is setting aside P8 billion this year for capital expenditures -- higher than last year’s P5.9 billion -- to develop Phases 2 and 3 of Resorts World Manila and kick off the fourth phase of expansion of the integrated resort complex, said Kingson Sian, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

“In anticipation of more visitors and as part of its long term plan, Travellers will increase its hotel capacity to approximately 4,200 rooms in the next four years from the existing 1,226 rooms,” the company said in a disclosure.

The joint venture between Alliance Global Group, Inc. and Genting Group is finalizing the plan for the fourth phase of Resorts World Manila’s expansion and will cover a two-hectare area currently used as a carpark.

This will include a four-star international branded hotel offering 1,000 rooms, sitting atop a full-service shopping mall that will link Resorts World Manila to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The bridge will be finished next year and the last phase of expansion may be completed in 2019-2020.

The expansion of Resorts World Manila, the country’s first integrated casino resort which opened in 2009, is focusing on the non-gaming side of the business to drive foot traffic to its property, David Chua, the company’s chairman, told reporters after the meeting.

Once the non-gaming expansion is complete, Travellers’ revenues from this side of the business will be enough to cover its operating expenses, Mr. Chua said.

“We continue to believe that the true definition of an integrated resort is where we have not just gaming facilities but other components that give us a nonstop, one-stop complex,” Mr. Sian said.

The second phase involves the expansion of Marriott with the construction of a grand ballroom and additional rooms. The Marriott Grand Ballroom started its operations in March with the formal launch slated on July 1, while the 288-room Marriott West Wing is due for completion by early 2016.

The third phase -- targeted for completion by end-2017 -- covers Hilton Manila, the Sheraton Hotel Manila and the extension of Maxims.

“We will continue to do VIP down to mass gaming, but the area that will eventually be the strongest will be the premium segment of the market owing to the infrastructure we’re building,” Mr. Sian said.

Travellers is also developing the $1.1-billion Bayshore City Resorts World, one of four casino-resorts in Entertainment City, which “shall be completed in phases starting from 2019 onwards,” Mr. Sian said.

Mr. Sian said during Bayshore City Resorts World’s groundbreaking ceremony in Oct. 1 last year that the property would open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Bayshore City Resorts World will complete Entertainment City, a gaming hub organized by state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

The other casino resorts there are Solaire Resort & Casino of ports magnate Enrique K. Razon, Jr.; City of Dreams Manila, a joint venture between retail magnate Henry Sy and Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment; and Manila Bay Resorts of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada.

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