July 2014. That’s the date Belle Corporation is targeting for Belle Grande to start its operations. That date is also less than a year away and nobody is feeling more pressure than to finish Entertainment City’s second integrated resort and casino than the developer itself.
“We’re rushing for the opening in one year,” Belle Corp. vice chairman Willy Ocier said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
12 months may still be a long ways away but anybody that has been under pressure will tell you that time flies faster when you’re under the proverbial clock. But even with the countdown in full swing, the company remains confident that the massive $1.3 billion hotel and casino project it’s building with Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment will be up and running with enough time to spare.
What’s important now is filling out what will eventually constitute Belle Grande. For one, Ocier made no bones about what kind of hotels he expects will be part of Belle Grande. “(The hotels) are five and six-star brands,” he said before pointing out that Belle Grande can’t afford to have anything less than five stars because one of its main competitors – Bloomberry Resort’s Solaire Manila – have those grade hotels in its vicinity.
As it currently stands, Belle is already in negotiations with a number of hotel chains, some of which could be brought in by Melco Crown itself.
Upon completion of Belle Grande, the Macau-based casino giant will be tasked to oversee operations of the multi-billion dollar resort and casino. Earlier this year, the first phase of Belle Grande, which includes the main podium and six hotel towers, was already turned over to Melco which is now in the middle of interior finishing. Meanwhile, the second phase of the project, which will feature a night club and a family entertainment center, is expected to be turned over to Melco at the start of the next year.