CASINO

Kazuo Okada takes page out of Trump playbook, puts his name on Manila resort

TAGs: entertainment city, Kazuo Okada, Manila Bay Resorts, okada manila, Philippines, tiger resorts leisure and entertainment

Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada is taking a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook by changing the name of his new Philippines casino to Okada Manila.

Kazuo Okada takes page out of Trump playbook, puts his name on Manila resortOn Tuesday, the Okada-controlled Tiger Resorts Leisure & Entertainment announced that its in-development $4b integrated resort in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming zone was ditching its working title of Manila Bay Resorts in favor of Okada Manila.

During Tuesday’s brand launch in Makati City, Tiger Resorts president Steve Wolstenholme said the company was “still keeping the name Tiger – that’s our holding company – but Okada Manila really exemplifies what we are.”

Wolstenholme confirmed that Okada Manila remained on track for a soft opening of its first phase this November but played coy when asked to pin down how soon the second phase – which consists of more retail space, another hotel and more “family-oriented” offerings – would open to the public, saying only that the goal remains to open all phases “in the next five years.”

The primary phase will cost $2.4b and Tiger Resorts board member Antonio Cojuangco – whose All Seasons Hotels & Resorts owns the land on which Okada Manila is being built – claimed that the property would recoup its investment within two years.

While this may appear overly optimistic, Cojuangco said the company would consider listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange at some point within the next two years. Cojuangco suggested it could come earlier “if the market is receptive … and if the people like the hotel and the banker says it’s a right time to list.”

Cojuangco said Okada remained bullish on the Philippines’ potential as a tourism draw and was “looking at developing resorts in other Philippine islands.” Wolstenholme added that Okada was “very enamored by many of the islands, particularly around Palawan.”

Okada Manila will be the third and largest integrated resort yet to open in Entertainment City, following Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco Crown Entertainment’s Studio City Manila. The fourth and final property, Travellers International’s West Side City Resorts World, plans to open in late 2020.

Okada Manila’s first phase will feature a Y-shaped hotel design, with two wings of 15 floors housing a total of 993 rooms, as well as a 90k-square-feet glass-enclosed nightclub/white-sand beach area known as The Cove. The property’s gaming floor will feature 500 gaming tables and 3k electronic gaming machines.

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