Matt Hurst, executive vice president for casino operations and marketing of Tiger Resort, shares the latest news on Manila Bay Resorts‘ development in the Philippines.
Three is definitely not a crowd, especially in Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Manila.
First there was Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort and Casino, which opened in 2013. A year later, Melco Crown Resorts Corp. opened the doors of the 6.2-hectare City of Dreams Manila. Now, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment is gearing up for the long-awaited opening of Manila Bay Resorts.
“We’re targeting, you know, the middle of next year. It’s a very aggressive target, but that’s what we’re aiming for,” Matt Hurst, executive vice president of casino operations and marketing of Tiger Resort, told CalvinAyre.com.
Hurst’s team is deep into preparations to address any hospitality challenge, especially since Manila Bay Resorts will be attracting the international market to its casino floors.
“We’ve got a good team on the hotel and hospitality side of the organization,” he explained. “We have deep Asian experience. Our chairman opened co-dining in Hong Kong only a few years back. He has two Michelin stars and he has two restaurants there, a Japanese restaurant and a Chinese restaurant, so I think we’re sitting OK in that area.”
Hurst admits it’s going to be a stiff competition among all the casino complexes, but even though Manila Bay Resorts will be the second to the last to open—Genting Group’s Resorts World Bayshore will open in 2018—he believes there will be a cooperation among all the properties in order to corner the market.
“We’re gonna be competing vigorously in that segment of the market. It’s sort of your bread and butter market. We’re watching City of Dreams to see how much organic growth there is versus cannibalization,” Hurst said. “With the additional infrastructure—the SLEX [South Luzon Expressway] and the NLEX [North Luzon Expressway] and the Skyway coming down to Entertainment City, I think that’s gonna help bring in the wider Manila audience as well. I think there will be a lot of positives there in terms of growing the domestic market, but long term, really, to support the properties in Entertainment City, we need to develop the international market and that means promoting Entertainment City as the destination together, cooperating as licensed holders.”
Hurst added that Tiger Resort is banking on junket operators to bring people to Manila Bay Resorts’ doors.
“We’re talking to a lot of junkets. They represent a significant amount of business still, even in Macau with the downturn, but we’ve had a lot of positive from the biggest junket in Macau who we’re actively speaking to, so we’re positive that with the integrated resort, our room offering… our entertainment, our retail that we truly have a one-stop shop integrated resort that will bring people in.”