March 16 couldn’t come soon enough.
That’s the prevailing thought of the Enrique Razon Jr.-owned Bloomberry Resorts who are counting down the days before their $1.2 billion resort and casino complex, Solaire Manila, officially opens its doors to the public.
As the first of four enormous gaming and entertainment resorts to open in Entertainment City, Solaire Manila is expected to set the bar for what locals and tourists alike will come to expect from the highly-publicized and long-awaited government project led by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Should Solaire Manila open with the kind of success that can justify the hype its been getting in the past years, then you can be certain that it’ll be set the ball rolling on the Philippine government’s objective to turn the country into a premier gaming destination in Asia, one that can ultimately compete with the likes of Macau and Singapore.
Pressure? What pressure?
Earlier this week, Bloomberry Resorts disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange its intention of opening its doors on March 16 with the assurance that it had collected some of the brightest minds in the industry to be the driving forces in ensuring the success of Solaire Manila. “[We] confirm that [Bloomberry’s] Solaire Manila Resorts and Casino has collected the top former operating officers of world-renowned casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of the world,” a letter to the exchange said, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Global Gaming Asset Management, which exercised its equity option on Bloomberry Resorts last month that made it the second-largest shareholder of Solaire Manila, will be tasked to oversee operations of the new resort and casino.
In addition to the senior officials, a lot of whom have backgrounds running casinos in Las Vegas, Bloomberry Resorts also said in the letter to the exchange that they had hired over 400 Filipinos employees, all of whom have similar backgrounds in gaming and hotel operations all over the world. For now, 500 hotel rooms set in modern resorts are expected to part of Solaire Manila’s grand opening with plans to add 300 more hotel rooms in the next couple of years.
As soon as Solaire Manila is up and running, the focus now turns to the three remaining operators that are still in the process of building their own resort and casino establishments, including projects from Melco Crown/Belle Corp, Tiger Resorts/Alliance Global, and Travelers International Hotel Group.
For now, though, it’s Bloomberry Resorts’ time in the proverbial spotlight. March 16 is a little over a month away, and the buzz in the atmosphere is palpable. After years of planning, negotiating, and building, the first of the four mega casino and resort complexes in Pagcor’s Entertainment City will finally go live.