Kazuo Okada eyes resorts, golf courses in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – Other than investing $2.4 billion to develop an integrated hotel and casino complex in the Philippines, Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada plans to develop resorts and golf courses in the country.
This was according to businessman Antonio "Tony Boy" Cojuangco, who is Okada's joint venture partner in developing the 44-hectare Okada Manila, the newest and biggest integrated resort development that will open within PAGCOR Entertainment City.
Cojuangco said in an interview on the sidelines of the launching of Okada Manila that he will also team up with Okada to develop other resorts in the Philippines.
He added that Okada is initially looking at Palawan and Davao as possible sites for resort development. (READ: PH threatens to suspend Japanese tycoon's casino license)
"Mr Okada wants total entertainment package for the whole family. So aside from [a] hotel and its features, he is also going to be developing resorts in islands, golf courses," Cojuangco said.
"That is why I joined him, because I'm interested in tourism-related projects. I don't really gamble."
Despite the expected oversupply of gaming facilities in the country, Cojuangco said the group expects to recover their $2.4-billion investment in two years' time.
Cojuangco said the company is also considering listing the casino venture in 1 1/2 to 2 years.
Meanwhile, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated chief operating officer Takahiro Usui said Okada has high confidence in the Philippines.
"The most important thing in this industry is hospitality and that's what our chairman believes in and that is what we believe also. Why he chose this property is because of that," Usui said.
"He believes and we believe hospitality in the Philippines is the most important thing and [the] most successful industry in the Philippines and we want to contribute to the Philippines through this industry," he added.
Okada Manila, which is slated to open before the end of 2016, will be the third integrated resort and casino that will open in Entertainment City after Bloomberry Resorts' Solaire Resort & Casino and Melco Crown's City of Dreams.
Okada Manila's gaming facility will be spread across 25,000 square meters of floor area, housing 500 tables and over 3,000 electronic gaming machines.
It also boasts of a Y-shaped hotel which will have 993 rooms offering a view of either Manila Bay or a dancing fountain.
The complex will also highlight a 90,000-square-feet entertainment venue, which is enclosed in a glass dome and features 33 cabanas and bungalows equipped with amenities.
"Okada Manila has the potential to compete with the entertainment and gaming giants across the region with its best natural resources – its hospitality and warmth," said Tiger Resort president Steve Wolstenholme. – Rappler.com
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