Suncity Group achieved a higher score than Clairvest under Wakayama’s Request for Proposal and would likely have been declared the winner had the company not withdrawn last month.
Wakayama Prefecture announced Wednesday that Clairvest – a consortium led by Canadian investment firm Clairvest Group and its local subsidiary Clairvest Neem Ventures Co Ltd – had been officially selected as its priority candidate to develop an integrated resort at Wakayama Marina City.
However, the prefecture also revealed that a report submitted by the operator selection committee on 30 April 2021 had evaluated Suncity higher than Clairvest following its proposal examination.
Suncity announced on 12 May that it was withdrawing from Wakayama’s IR race, with CEO Alvin Chau stating, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertain situation surrounding a huge number of companies around the world may continue for a long time, and the IR project procedure in Japan also is expected to take much longer. Therefore, we have considered the risks to our business and the fact that things are still uncertain and have decided to withdraw.”
Wakayama said Wednesday that after receiving a notice of decline from Suncity, “which had a high evaluation score from the committee,” it instead “decided on Clairvest, the runner-up, as a candidate for priority based on the results of the preliminary survey.”
The prefecture didn’t provide any information on Clairvest’s partners, however IAG understands that TTL Resorts, which was previously part of an unsuccessful consortium in Nagasaki, is involved in the Clairvest bid.
In announcing its priority candidate, Wakayama said it will now focus on working with Clairvest to create an area development plan but will “request further refinement of the proposal contents and strengthening of the project implementation system.
“In addition, in order to contribute to the promotion of the regional economy through the development of the local economy and the creation of local employment, when strengthening the project implementation system, we will request the creation of an all-Wakayama system in which businesses in the prefecture can widely participate.
“On top of that, we will create an excellent area development plan that will greatly contribute to regional development and contribute to the national tourism-oriented policy, and apply to the country by 28 April 2022, which is the application deadline.”