Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. top honchos, Co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Ho and Co-chairman and Director James Packer are excited about their local venture, City of Dreams Manila, confident that they are tapping young, moneyed clients in a rapidly expanding economy.
Melco, developer and owner of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia, is famous for its City of Dreams brand found in Macau, yesterday, the property’s counterpart in Manila was formally opened with a grand press conference, a red carpet affair, and a free concert topbilled by international artists Ne-Yo and Kelly Rowland.
City of Dreams Manila is the second in the world, and the second property at Philippine Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) Entertainment City in Pasay City.
In the press conference, Ho confidently shared the reason why they chose their premiere City of Dreams brand for Manila.
Ho explained, “Our philosophy is simple. We want to build things that we’re proud of. We want to build integrated resorts that will last over time. And therefore the market must be big enough to [be able]to build [for]them. It’s no wonder that Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies anywhere in the world in the last few years.”
The CEO also noted that he and his partner had begun to notice consumer spending in the Philippines picking up two years ago.
This was echoed by Packer who said, “In the Philippines, there are 100 million people . . . There are 20 million people in Manila [alone]. Obviously, if we look at the breakdown of that population, [it has]young people and the economy is growing incredibly.
With their observation, the partners found it fitting to do business in Manila. Ho said, “James and I started this company 10 years ago. And the vision was always to find greatest locations in Asia to build integrated resorts. We are very selective.
Other than Macau, the Philippines and Manila is really the first place that we have.”
The result was therefore the over $1billion City of Dreams Manila, built in partnership with SM Group’s Belle Corporation, which will be managed by MCE Leisure Philippines, a subsidiary of Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp. (PSE: MCP).
“We have spent an enormous amount of money trying to make City of Dreams as good as it is. And I think Lawrence, the team, and the company have spent the money really well. When you walk around, you can see the level of quality,” said Packer.
The property has three major luxury hotel brands—Crown Towers, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt City of Dreams Manila.
Besides these will also be features within the complex to attract entire families like the DreamPlay by DreamWorks Animation Studio, Centerplay, a contemporary entertainment bar with top live performances from local and international artists, Pangaea, a luxury ultra-lounge and another unique club called Chaos, retail outlets at The Shops at the Boulevard, and new dining concepts including like the Nobu Restaurant and The Tasting Room.
Of course, gaming will is a different level of experience as the casino boasts of approximately, 380 gaming tables, 1,700 slot machines, and 1,700 electronic table games.