TIGER RESORT LEISURE ENTERTAINMENT

‘Okada Manila cost could hit $4B’

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Tiger Resort Leisure Entertainment Inc. on Tuesday said its investment in Okada Manila could go up to $4 billion.

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Takahiro Usui, Tiger Resort chief operating officer, told reporters the company is now preparing for the soft opening of the Phase 1 of Okada Manila—formerly Manila Bay Resorts—a world-class integrated resort, which will likely happen in November.

“The amount of investment which we publicly announced stands at $2.4 billion. So far, that is the investment. The $2.4 billion is pure investment for the first phase. It is just for the development. Probably, if we include everything … close to $3 billion … ” Usui said.

“The soft opening of Phase 1 will be before the year ends. But the grand opening is yet to be announced by our chairman,” he added, referring to Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada.

However, the total investment for Okada Manila alone could go up to $4 billion covering phases two, three, and four of the development. “Yes,” Usui noted.

Okada Manila is the third casino hotel complex to complete at the Entertainment City in Parañaque City. It will occupy more than 44 hectares at the foreshore of Manila Bay, which is three kilometers away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We are very focused on the completion of the Phase One, while … Phase 2 is still very much on the ground works,” the Japanese said.

Okada Manila is a Y-shaped hotel with a gleaming gold exterior. The Pearl and Coral wings, comprising 15 floors each, will house 993 deluxe rooms, ranging from spacious 60-square meter deluxe suites to luxurious 1, 400 sqm villas.

Okada Manila would be the largest casino resort in the country, with a total floor area of 26, 410.77 sqm, housing more than 500 table games and more than 3,000 electronic gaming machines.

One of its main highlights is the indoor Night Club/Beach Club Entertainment Complex, the largest indoor beach in Southeast Asia with real white sand.

Steve Wolstenholme, president of Tiger Resorts, described the second phase as mainly “ … retail shops and another hotel that would be quite family-oriented.” The subsequent phases are “still to be developed, and is under refinement, but there’s a master plan.”

The totality of the design will be refined by Okada, Wolstenhome said.

“He is here for the long-term, and he is here to support what the Philippines needs to be globally recognized as a hospitality destination,” he added.

Okada is also looking at expanding in other Philippine Islands, most probability in Palawan.

“As far as areas are concerned, I think our chairman is continuously looking. There’s no specific area; he’s very enamored by many of the islands particularly around Palawan.

That way, we don’t have to go to the Bahamas, we don’t have to go to Fiji, because there is here—the Philippines,” he said.

Businessman Antonio Cojuangco, a member of Tiger Resort’s board of directors, said the company is also looking at Davao.

“The chairman is thinking of developing places where he can send the guest throughout their stay in Manila. It will be under the Okada brand. So far, just Palawan and maybe Davao,” Cojuangco said, noting the plan would likely happen within the next two years.

“The chairman said it does not matter if there are several hotels in the area, just make sure that ours is the best and people would definitely stay with us,” Cojuangco added.

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