The Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority says it has received confirmation from Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) that it will bring forward US$200 million worth of investment originally planned for Phase 2 in order to expedite development work on its Inspire Korea integrated resort following recent delays due to COVID-19.
According to an IFEZ announcement, Mohegan has submitted a Foreign Direct Investment Plan aimed at helping Inspire Korea “break through the COVID-19 crisis earlier,” enabling it to get construction back on schedule and allowing for the activation of further project financing.
Mohegan outlined last year that the US$1.6 billion construction cost would include US$300 million from its own coffers plus 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 US$200 million via loans. This US$200 million had been planned to form part of Mohegan’s Phase 2 investment but has now been brought forward to assist in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. When complete, it will bring the company’s total investment to US$500 million.
When complete, Phase 1 of Inspire Korea – sitting on land covering almost 4.4 million square meters near Incheon International Airport – will cover 1.6 million square meters and include 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.
The IFEZ stated in its update that the injection of funds was made possible after the IFEZ and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy were able to provide exemptions from a two-week mandatory self-quarantine period for investors.
“I am grateful for Inspire IR making such a bold decision,” said IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae.
“It is a great gift to IFEZ Entertainment World, especially in such a time that the entire tourism industry is suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. I have no doubt it will create a new vibe for other project such as Paradise City and Caesars Korea.
“We, IFEZ, have been supporting Inspire IR and will continuously support its regulatory needs and with anything we can help. As Commissioner, I promise to do my best to make IFEZ Entertainment World become the most popular tourist destination in Northeast Asia.”
Inspire Korea is due to open in 2022.