The Grand Ho Tram Strip resort on Vietnam’s southern coast has undergone a name change. The property, which opened with great fanfare two years ago this month, will now be known as the Ho Tram Resort Casino Vietnam. Ho Tram president Shaun McCamley told GGRAsia that “everyone knows us as Ho Tram, hence the change … The Grand remains only as the hotel element.”
Developer Asian Coast Development (Canada) Ltd. (ACDL) originally tapped a subsidiary of US casino operator MGM Resorts to manage the property, which was to be known as the MGM Grand Ho Tram. But MGM bowed out in March 2013, citing the project’s inability to meet certain development milestones, leaving ACDL with little choice but to drop ‘MGM’ from the marquee, and now the ‘Grand’ has followed suit.
Meanwhile, ACDL has targeted Q3 2016 as the expected opening date for its second tower. Colin Pine, general director of ACDL subsidiary Ho Tram Project Co Ltd, said the company was negotiating “final documents” with a third party regarding a potential partnership for Tower 2, which will add 559 rooms to the property’s current 541 five-star accommodations.
The Ho Tram casino has been short on specifics regarding the performance of its gaming element, although Pine says the mass market business has “continued to grow consistently.” Like many Macau operators, the Ho Tram has recently reallocated some of its VIP tables to the main gaming floor as the herds of Asian gambling whales thinned. But Pine insists that China’s ongoing crackdown on corruption hasn’t had a “major” impact on the property’s operations.
Meanwhile, the property is bracing for an influx of poker players next month. The inaugural Vietnam Poker Cup (VPC) is set to take place at the Ho Tram Resort from August 21–23. The Asian Poker Tour made its first visit to the Ho Tram property this spring but the VPC is being billed as the country’s first ‘homegrown’ poker tournament.
McCamley told Poker Asia Pacific that the weekend would feature a $550 Main Event, a $1,100 High Roller tourney as well as numerous other events. McCamley said 2015 was shaping up as “a tremendous year” for the property’s new poker room and Ho Tram was “fully committed to supporting and ensuring the long term success of poker here.”