Olongapo–(PHStocks)–Major infrastructure works at Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc.’s (BRHI) world-class integrated resort (IR) project at the Entertainment City Manila were completed with the recent concrete topping out ceremony of the IR’s hotel facility, Solaire Manila.
The ceremony was attended by top Philippine government officials and leading business leaders headed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Congressman Amado S. Bagatsing, House of Representatives committee chairman on games and amusement; Cristino L. Naguiat Jr., Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) chairman and CEO; Florencio Bernabe, Paranaque City mayor; Gustavo Tambunting, Parañaque City Vice Mayor, Enrique K. Razon Jr., BRHI chairman and CEO; Teresita Sy-Coson, Banco De Oro Unibank chairperson; and David Consunji, DMCI Holdings Inc. chairman.
“Only a year ago, this same spot where we are was but barren, unproductive land. But today, you see massive structures and a bustling commune with a 5,000-strong labor force who work 24/7 to complete our integrated resort complex. It is getting more exciting as we shift to higher gear towards inaugurating our integrated resort. We are doubly proud because Solaire Manila will be the first resort to be built and operational here in Entertainment City. Once open, I have high hopes that Solaire will immediately contribute to furthering tourism in the country, and the economy in general,” said Razon in his welcome message.
Phase 1 of the integrated resort covers 180,000 sqm of floor area, which includes a hotel tower, three levels of podium that has the ballroom/convention facilities, gaming areas, restaurants, retail shops, and health and wellness facilities. Ample parking is provided with a 10-storey parking building. Investment for the first phase of the development is estimated at $650 million, while total investment for the long term is expected to reach $1.2 billion.
Aside from attracting local and foreign visitors, the complex is expected to generate over 4,600 jobs as well as boost the country’s ancillary service sectors.
“This topping off ceremony comes at an exciting time for the Philippines. We have an upbeat economy and vastly improved business confidence. Our tourism sector is experiencing double-digit growth rates. Infrastructure development in key sectors and sensible fiscal management provide a solid and sustainable growth platform. Looking around us now, I have no doubt that Solaire will be successful. PAGCOR is committed to seeing through this project to full completion,” said Naguiat in his message.
The Philippines is high in the radar of the global leisure and entertainment industry. Citi Group tagged the Philippines as the “market to watch,” reporting that upon the completion of the integrated resorts at the Entertainment City, the total revenue that can be derived from gaming activities would most likely approximate the earnings capacity of Singapore’s integrated resorts.
“This is the handiwork of Filipino talent, of Filipino dream, of Filipino action, of Filipino capital. This is a challenge to the outside world, that there is a country here populated by talented people, courageous people, risk takers who will make a mark not only in this country but also in the entire world. I am elated, honored and fortunate that I was able to witness the looming progress of this country through the vision of men and women like Ricky Razon and Tessie Sy,” said Senator Enrile in his keynote message as he lauded Bloomberry and the Entertainment City project. Ms. Sy-Coson’s BDO Unibank is the bank tapped by Bloomberry in financing the project.
Simultaneous with the topping out ceremony, Bloomberry also began structural works on the extension of Phase 1, which will see the expansion of the retail outlets, a boutique hotel, a live performance theater and a bigger garage building.
The Entertainment City Manila is a multi-billion dollar project of PAGCOR, covering 120 hectares of prime reclaimed land at the western portion of the Manila Bay in Parañaque City. It is also a special economic zone.
The Philippine government’s tourism blueprint, the National Tourism Development Plan, seeks to achieve 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016. Entertainment City’s 3,200 hotel rooms, which will have an annual capacity of one million tourists, will be among the key drivers to achieve the target. Aside from tourist arrivals, Entertainment City is expected to generate over 20,000 jobs.