The highly anticipated jewel in SJM’s crown, Grand Lisboa Palace Resort (GLP), will open its doors to the public this Friday 30 July.
The announcement was made by SJM Holdings Chairman and Executive Director Daisy Ho on Wednesday during an event at which several specially commissioned pieces of artwork to be displayed at the long-awaited Cotai property were unveiled.
Although there had been talk that GLP would open this week, confirmation finally came less than 48 before the big day with SJM having overcome a series of hurdles, sharpened by the COVID-19 impasse, that have hindered the progress of the HK$39 billion (US$5 billion) development of the resort for so many years.
“July 30 … this year”, joked SJM Vice Chairman and CEO Dr Ambrose So, who stood alongside Ho and Co-Chairman and Executive Director Angela Leong while addressing media.
Ho revealed the company “has received government approval for 150 gaming tables,” adding that they are still working “very hard to determine, first of all, how many tables we are going to operate on day one” as well as how they will be split between mass and VIP gaming. Regarding the latter, she rejected the suggested idea that its distribution would be linked to Hong Kong visitors return to Macau once travel restrictions are eased.
Ho confirmed that Friday’s opening will include only a limited number of rooms available in just one of the towers of the Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel, progressively increasing in number as demand gains pace.
Some restaurants will also be operating from opening day while the availability of the rest of the anticipated amenities will be determined by external factors. “Depending on travel restrictions, we’re hoping that by the end of this year we should be able to open up entirely,” she said.
Ho also indicated the company is planning to celebrate a grand opening ceremony once travel restrictions are relaxed “because obviously we are hoping that we can bring in overseas guests or at least people from Hong Kong, people from mainland China.” The Grand Opening will coincide with the property’s Phase 2 launch.
She also left the door open to a possible allocation of some gaming tables to Lisboeta, the neighboring property owned by Leong and Arnaldo Ho which launched some non-gaming attractions earlier this month.
“Nothing is impossible,” she said. “I think once we open Grand Lisboa Palace, then we will start looking at that possibility”.
Ho made the announcement about GLP while promoting the art exhibition “Harmony of East and West, featuring seven pieces by seven artists who have strong bonds with Macau. Those artists include Dr So himself, plus Carlos Marreiros, Ung Vai Meng, Konstantin Bessmertny, Denis Murrell, Eric Fok and Cai Guo Jie.
All have been commissioned to create works that will be permanently displayed at GLP from 1 October 2021.
“In an effort to further engage the local community in arts and culture, we have invited our commissioned artists to share their stories behind the creation of art pieces for Grand Lisboa Palace Resort,” Ho said.
“Celebrating the harmonious blend of Eastern and Western cultures in Macau, these works to be showcased at Grand Lisboa Palace will be the largest collection of locally commissioned artworks of any resort in Macau.
“The exhibition enables the artists to share their cultural views, and calls upon people to pause to appreciate the beauty of the art, aiming to broaden people’s cultural horizons and to connect the world with creativity.”