Putting the ‘entertainment’ in Entertainment City

entertainment-city-manila-thumbPagcor’s Entertainment City project looks like its going to be incredibly amazing. Actually, ‘amazing’ might even be selling it a bit short because from the looks of things, it’s going to have pretty much everything any self-respecting person would want at his or her disposal.

Obviously, the biggest source of entertainment at Entertainment City are the four integrated resort and casinos that will open by 2016. One of them, Solaire Manila, is already in operation and judging by its popularity as a prime new leisure destination in the country, we have no doubts that the other three resorts – Belle Grand, Resorts World Bayshore, and Manila Bay Resorts – will all attract Filipinos the way an NBA player attracts gold-diggers.

With these four integrated resorts, we’re under no illusions that gambling will be the main attraction in Entertainment City. It’s going to be the lifeblood of Entertainment City; why else would it be touted as the Philippines’ version of Las Vegas. It’s not because of the celebrity impersonators, the prostitutes, or the drive-in wedding chapels. Entertainment City will be all about the gambling.

Or at least most of it.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of other things you can do at Entertainment City once the project is completed in 2016. Granted, very few of these establishments have yet to be constructed. Drive around the area and you’ll mostly see patches of land with signages saying what establishment will “rise soon” in that particular area. But once all the lights are officially open, Entertainment City will feature a whole lot more than just gambling.

These four resorts will be at the forefront of that, too, because each will have its own non-gambling attractions that will be reserved for families. That was one of the conditions set by Pagcor when it issued its licenses, that each resort will allocate a minimum of 20,000 square meters of retail space while also provide a thematic attraction worth at least $20 million.

As if there aren’t enough malls in the country – one of them, the stupendously enormous SM Mall of Asia, is a stone’s throw away from Entertainment City – each of these four integrated resorts will have massive spaces allocated for retail and dining establishments. Talk about having an excess of supply; but that’s why the Philippines has become a shopping hub in the Asian region. There are malls wherever you look, some literally right next door to one another.

In addition to retail and dining establishments, Pagcor’s ambitious plan for Entertainment City will also include a world-class theme park, a separate amusement park, a marina/yacht club, residential options, events pavilions, stadiums, and yes, even a Pagcor Tower, which every modern city in the world seems to have these days in one shape or another.

Apart from Solaire Manila, one of the first establishments in Entertainment City that is scheduled to open its doors to the public is Blue Leaf Pilipinas, an enormous events pavilion that will open its doors to numerous gatherings, including conventions, conferences, exhibitions, and weddings. We caught up with, Charmaine Jimenez, Managing Partner-Business Development, of Blue Leaf to talk about the decision to build Blue Leaf Pilipinas in Entertainment City.

“Entertainment City is going to be the ultimate hub in the Philippines,” she said. “It was important for us to have a presence here because we understand the enormous potential (Entertainment City) has in attracting locals and tourists alike. And in our line of work, the more human traffic you have in one vicinity, the better it is for our business.”

Those words – human traffic – couldn’t have been more accurate to describe what the end game is for Entertainment City. Whatever reason people may have for going there when it’s complete, the multitude of integrated entertainment and leisure destinations in the area will make sure that there won’t be any shortage of people walking in and around Entertainment City.