Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, also known as Mohegan Sun, is planning to meet with officials of the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) later this month. The meeting, according to the casino operator’s CFO Drew Kelly, is designed to open dialogue regarding the firm’s Inspire integrated resort, currently under construction near the Incheon International Airport.
Kelly broke the news on a recent conference call with analysts that followed the release of its Q2 financial report. He reportedly said on the call, “The most important next step – as it relates to the Inspire development – is a meeting that we’ll be having with the MCST in late August and into early September.
“We are preparing a set of information… for them, which we believe will be well received and will otherwise speak to the unique aspect of this truly integrated resort and how it will be a dominant property in the market. As a product of that, we’ll be providing an update on the financing structure.”
Kelly, along with other Mohegan Sun executives, will be seen in Asia for the majority of the second half of this year. They want to make sure that they are “successful both with the meeting with the MCST and with [their] financing partner.”
When the $1.6-billion first phase of Inspire is complete, it will offer a 2.6-million-square-foot gaming area, three hotels, a 118,400-square-foot events area, an indoor entertainment arena and shops and restaurants. It is expected to open in 2021, but the casino will be open to foreigners only.
Financing for the project is still on schedule and the operator anticipates having Inspire’s financing settled by the end of this year. According to Kelly, “I think the timeline hasn’t changed substantially … But in order to check all the boxes … the first next big step is the MCST meeting this month. And then thereafter, we’ll have a very crystal-clear picture as to the exact timing. But generally speaking, no date has materially changed to this point either on financing or likely, the opening.”
Mohegan Sun announced this past May that it had bought out its Inspire project partner, KCC Corp. This allowed the operator to have complete control and ownership of the project and assist with the company’s diversification plans in Asia.