IAG NOVEMBER 2015 - page 6

inside
asiangaming
November2015
6
W
ithacinematictheme,widescreenentertainment
choices, high wattage star power from its
kitchens to the opening night gala stage and no
VIP gaming tables, Melco Crown has raised the
curtain on Studio City, Cotai’s latest integrated
resort production. Melco Crown Co-Chairmen Lawrence Ho and
JamesPacker hope theirUS$3.2billion resortwill be a show-stopper.
Macau’s gaming industry hopes the show it stops is 17 consecutive
months of declininggaming revenue.
Studio City follows a new script for Macau IRs. Its 250 gaming
tablesgrantedby thegovernment areall formassmarketplayers.The
resort has invested hundreds ofmillions of dollars in entertainment
features, headlined by a reported US$70million for
The Audition
, a
shortfilmstarringAcademyAwardwinnersRobertDeNiro, Leonardo
DiCaprio, directorMartinScorsese– all of whom attended the resort
opening for the film’sdebut – andBradPitt. StudioCity bills itself as
“Asia’sEntertainmentCapital”withnon-gamingattractions including
a world’s first Batman ride, multi-stage magic show, Asia’s highest
figure-eight Ferriswheel and a 5,000 seat arenawhereMadonnawill
do two shows in February, following opening night performances by
MariahCarey, AaronKwok andSouthKorea’s Sistar.
“A baccarat table is a homogenous product,” Mr Ho, who is
MelcoCrown’sCEO, says. “Whatwe really use to standout fromour
competitors is entertainment and attractions.” He adds that Melco
Crown “understood what the government wanted” regarding more
non-gaming activities to make Macau a more compelling tourist
destination. The resort was virtually completewhen it opened to the
public onOctober 27, missing just a handful of retail outlets and a
pair of signature restaurants, including record settingMichelin star
chef AlainDucasse’sRech, due toopennext year.
It’s beena very long time coming
–but it’s finallyhere. IAGEditor
At LargeMuhammadCohenwas
at thegrandopeningof
Macau
StudioCity
and took an in-depth
look at the latest integrated
resort toopen its doors inCotai.
Cover Story
Lights!Camera!
Action!
By
MuhammadCohen
,
EditorAtLarge
MuhammadCohen
also
blogs for Forbes on gaming
throughout Asia and
wrote
HongKongOnAir
, a
novel set during the 1997
handover about TVnews,
love, betrayal, high finance
and cheap lingerie.
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