City of Dreams project to promote PHL a prime tourist destination

By Leslie Venzon

MANILA, (PNA) — Following its success in Macau, a casino resort developer is bringing City of Dreams branded integrated resort in the Philippines as it aims to make the country a leading leisure and tourism destination in the region.

Listed Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. on Wednesday announced that its new integrated casino resort at Entertainment City in Manila will be branded “City of Dreams Manila”.

This is the namesake of its parent company Melco Crown Entertainment Limited’s world-class flagship integrated resort in Macau.

City of Dreams Macau resort has been a major catalyst in helping the city establishes itself as one of the leading entertainment and tourism destinations in Asia.

Melco Crown Philippines also bared it is increasing its investments from $ 620 million to $ 680 million to expand the Manila project.

Set to open around the middle of 2014, City of Dreams Manila will already include a 260-room Crown Towers Hotel, a luxurious, premium hotel brand.

This will add to the brand’s current locations –Crown Towers hotel at Crown Melbourne, Australia and the Forbes Five Star Crown Towers hotel at City of Dreams in Macau.

“(Our) decision to introduce the exclusive and luxurious Crown Towers hotel brand to City of Dreams Manila further illustrates the commitment in expanding the premium and high end gaming market in the Philippines, a valuable market that Manila is comparatively missing out on,” said James Packer, co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment.

As a result of regulatory revisions enacted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) increasing the allowable gaming positions, Manila’s integrated casino resort is now anticipated operate up to 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games upon opening.

“We strongly believe this favorable policy revision would further differentiate us apart from our competition and make City of Dreams Manila an internationally competitive leisure and tourism proposition which will cater to the fast growing Asian middle class,” said Melco Crown Philippines Chairman and President Clarence Chung.

Chung said the development of the integrated casino resort project is progressing.

He expects the project will play a key role in further enhancing the Philippines as a leading leisure and tourism destination in the region.

Lawrence Ho, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Crown Entertainment, said the casino resort will provide visitors with an exceptional world-class gaming and entertainment experience.

“I am confident that City of Dreams Manila will be the pride of the leisure and entertainment industry here in the Philippines,” he said.

City of Dreams Manila is being developed and to be operated by Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. in alliance with SM Group’s Belle Corporation.

Upon completion, the 6.2-hectare resort complex will provide visitors with an entertainment, hotel, retail and dining and lifestyle experiences.