US tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment says it has now secured all necessary permits and is on the brink of locking in the final slice of funding needed to break ground on its US$1.6 billion Korean integrated resort, Inspire.
Providing a development update during the company’s 1Q19 earnings call on Friday, Mohegan’s Senior Vice President and CFO, Drew Kelley, described the project as “shovel ready” with preparations now moving into their final stages.
“We are very pleased with the numerous objectives that we have accomplished, most notably on the construction and development side,” Kelley said.
“Essentially, we are shovel ready with all permits, zoning and others, in place.
“We are also very close to completing the completion guarantee which, most notably from my perspective, in Korea is a federally filed document which means that when they say they will produce the project on time and on budget they mean it.
“So those objectives have all been accomplished or will be accomplished in the coming days.”
Mohegan revealed in February that it had contributed the entirety of its US$300 million cash investment in October 2018. The remainder of the US$1.6 billion required includes US$900 million from a consortium of “blue chip” Korean institutions, US$200 million worth of infrastructure and improvements by Incheon International Airport Corp and a final US$200 million via loans.
According to Kelley, Mohegan is now in a position to finalize those loans and officially begin construction on Inspire, located around 25km outside of Seoul in Incheon.
“We’ve been encouraged by some inbound interest, by some Korean lenders which is what we are currently evaluating,” he said.
“We feel that that’s the right long term approach and there are cost and other benefits that come with financing onshore in Korea. We will be finalizing that aspect in short order – we remain on track to open that property in the first half of 2022.”
Situated on land covering 1.7 million square meters near Incheon Airport, Phase 1 of Inspire will boast 150 gaming tables and 700 EGMs, a 15,000-seat arena, an indoor climate-controlled dome with a pool and rides, dining and retail, a 19,000 square meter conference and convention space and 1,250 hotel rooms.