Wakayama Prefecture will announce today that Clairvest Neem Ventures has been confirmed as its selected partner in a bid to develop one of Japan’s first integrated resorts.
Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka has scheduled a press conference for 9.30am where IAG understands he will announce the prefecture’s intention to move forward with its IR plans. The Governor had previously hinted at the possibility of withdrawing from Japan’s IR race altogether after Wakayama’s only other candidate, Suncity Group, stepped aside last month.
“It is not ideal that there is only one company and we just choose them or don’t,” Governor Nisaka said at a press conference on 18 May. He subsequently tempered that statement, adding, “Not making a selection means giving up on the idea of IR for a few years. I have been promoting it for a long time. There are few investment projects of this size for employment and income. I think we should definitely take this chance for the future of Wakayama.”
The choices left for Wakayama following the withdrawal of Suncity were whether to go ahead with Clairvest, open applications again or pull out of the race entirely.
Although there was some support from within Wakayama’s business community to reopen applications, IAG understands the prefecture gathered the opinions of the selection committee, consisting of nine outside experts, before deciding to proceed with Clairvest.
It is not yet known whether Clairvest Neem Ventures, a subsidiary of Canadian equity management firm Clairvest Group, has locked in partners to operate an integrated resort facility at the prefecture’s selected site in Wakayama Marina City.
Wakayama is one of two candidate locations, along with Osaka, to be left with just a single operator to choose from following Suncity’s withdrawal.
Yokohama announced Monday that two candidates, Genting Singapore and Melco Resorts & Entertainment, have qualified for the next stage of its RFP while Nagasaki has recently whittled its candidates down from five to three.