IAG JANUARY 2015 - page 20

inside
asiangaming
January2015
20
Cover Story
SkyTower
LiftsSolaire
Thefirst casino in
Manila’s
EntertainmentCity
rises
withanelegant extension,
as it aims to shineglobally
By
MuhammadCohen
very top tier of world-class integrated resorts, and is a tremendous
game changer in providing best-in-class guest experience,” Solaire
President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Arasi says. After
joining Solaire in October 2013, Mr Arasi reportedly ordered key
changes to Sky Tower as part of revamping the resort’s strategy and
positioning. Despite that, Sky Tower arrived “on track and on spec,”
parent company Bloomberry Chairman and Chief Executive Enrique
Razon Jr said just ahead of the new wing’s 21st November ribbon
cutting.
Solaire opened as the first property inPagcor’s Entertainment
City integrated resort districtwitha488-roomhotel tower and 18,500
square-meter (200,000 square foot) gaming area, plus a grand
ballroom and about a half-dozen food and beverage options. Sky
Tower advances Solaire toward becoming a full-fledged integrated
resort with additional rooms, VIP gaming, F&B options, meeting
rooms, and a theater, all packaged around a spectacular lobby. The
$1.2billionproperty, currentlyaveraging 14,000daily visitors,will roll
outmorenon-gaming attractions throughout this year.
Non-gaming revenue accounted for about 3.5% of Solaire’s
third quarter overall revenue of 22.3 billion Philippine pesos
(US$531 million). “The non-gaming side has performed well,
noting, however, thatmuchof our non-gaming isprettymuchbeing
soppedup and consumed by the gaming side. … So it’s really been
supporting the gaming business,” Mr Arasi says. “Once we build
out everything in the Sky Tower, we’ll be able to solidly grow our
non-gaming business.”
W
hen Solaire Resort & Casino opened its first
phase in March 2013, observers proclaimed it
set a new standard for the Philippine market.
With its Phase 1A Sky Tower that opened in late
November, “Solaire raised the bar again. They
definitelyoutdidPhase IwithPhase 1A,” saysFrancisHernando, vice
president for Licensing and Development of the country’s gaming
regulator, Pagcor.
“The Sky Tower elevates Solaire yet another step higher into the
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