About 30,000 visitors—comprised of A-list guests hailing from various sectors of society, as well as tourists and gamers—flocked to City
of Dreams Manila on its grand opening day on February 2. Together, they were the first to experience the grandeur the property promises to offer.
Leading guests in marking the momentous event were Melco Crown Entertainment’s Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Ho, Co-Chairman James Packer, Melco Crown Philippines Chairman and President Clarence Chung, and SM Prime Holdings Inc. Chairman Henry Sy Jr.—the major investors of the project.
“Our successful official launch marks the start of our exciting mission to deliver sophisticated and compelling entertainment experiences at City of Dreams Manila, as we continue to work to support the Philippine government in growing and further developing the tourism sector of Manila and the Philippines,” Ho said.
“The success of City of Dreams Manila is a major milestone for Melco Crown Entertainment as we continue to expand our City of Dreams brand in Asian markets to meet the large and ever-growing number of leisure destination seekers across the region and internationally,” he added.
Packer, on the other hand, had high praises for the country, particularly Manila’s thriving growth. He said, “The Philippines is a truly exciting and dynamic market. Foreign visitations have risen at a double-digit rate in the past couple of years. We see immense potential for the country. As such, we had high expectations for City of Dreams Manila, and it has exceeded these expectations. We are confident that it will be a major catalyst in helping Manila further diversify its economy.”
The grand opening also saw the launch of the iconic architectural piece, the “Fortune Egg” that houses nightclub Chaos, and the cascading “Dream Cloud” of mechanical butterflies.
After the formal ceremonies, a crowd of 5,000 enjoyed the “Concert of Dreams” topbilled by Hollywood artists Ne-Yo and Kelly Rowland, and joined by local stars Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kyla and Jed Madela.
However, there was an air of disappoinment when guests realized that Hollyood celebrities Leonardo di Caprio, Robert De Niro and director Martcin Scorcese wouldn’t be able to grace the event’s red carpet. The three big names are currently seen at City of Dreams Manila’s high-budgeted TV commercial.
Meanwhile, Filipino personalities spotted were Tessa Prieto Valdes, Mia Borromeo, Sandie and Manoling Poblador, Rajo Laurel, Teddy and Louie Locsin, among others.
City of Dreams Manila is Melco’s second in the world next to City of Dreams Macau. It is also the second entertainment and casino complex to open at Philippine Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) Entertainment City after the 2013 opening of Bloomberry Resorts Corp’s Solaire Resort & Casino.
Two more properties are set to rise soon at the Entertainment City including The Manila Bay Resorts of Tiger Resorts and Entertainment Inc. (subsidiary of Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp.), and Resorts World Bayshore of Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.
With the inauguration of City of Dreams, Pagcor Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. is confident that it “will help Entertainment City and Manila to being one of the leading premier leisure destinations in Asia.”
City of Dreams is owned and operated by Melco Crown Entertainment through its local subsidiary Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. in partnership with the Sy Group consisting of SM Prime Holdings Inc., Belle Corp. and Premium Leisure Corp.