The Grand Ho Tram Strip is one of four tourist resorts in Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau province granted permission to welcome back domestic travellers from this Wednesday 15 September.
The coastal province suspended all tourist activities and imposed a swimming ban in June as COVID-19 case numbers began to rise across Vietnam, particularly in nearby Ho Chi Minh City. While those numbers have only continued to grow since, with more than 12,000 cases each day for the past week, the resorts in question – The Grand Ho Tram Strip, Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort, Binh Chau Hot Spring Resort and Six Senses Con Dao Beach Resort – are located in “green zones” where the pandemic is under control, according to VNExpress.
They will, however, be required to provide all transport for travellers to and from their home city or province, and those travellers must not leave the resort for the duration of their stay.
The Grand Ho Tram Strip’s CEO, Walt Power, told IAG that the news represented a huge step forward for the integrated resort.
Located on a sprawling beachside site around two hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City, The Grand Ho Tram Strip became Vietnam’s first true IR when it opened in 2013, with a foreigner-only casino complemented by more than 1,000 hotel rooms, a Greg Norman-designed golf course and a sprawling pool deck.
Originally a joint venture between Asian Coast Development Ltd and MGM Resorts until MGM pulled out shortly before launch, the project was revived by US businessman Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Group and opened on the assumption it would eventually be granted one of Vietnam’s first licenses allowing locals to gamble.
Eight years on that is yet to eventuate with only one casino-resort, Phu Quoc’s Corona Resort & Casino, currently permitted by the government to participate in a pilot scheme for locals.
Power took over as CEO at The Grand Ho Tram Strip in early 2020 following a change of ownership but his plans to finally realise the property’s huge potential have so far been scuppered by the COVID-19 pandemic.