The first Hokkaido IR Showcase opened on Wednesday at Sapporo’s “Access Sapporo”. This is the first IR event in Hokkaido, one of the leading regional locations vying to be granted an IR license.
In the opening ceremony, key local figures came together for a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Tomakomai Mayor Hirofumi Iwakura, Vice-governor of Hokkaido Keiji Abe, Seiko Hashimoto from the House of Councilors and Tomakomai IR Resort Promotion Council Chairman Hiroaki Fujita.
Wednesday’s opening day was designated as the show’s “business day” and after a keynote speech from Shuji Koiso, the former president of Kushiro Public University of Economics, overseas operators who have demonstrated interest in Hokkaido’s IR bid gave their own presentations.
Speakers from the IR industry included Steven Tight from Caesars Entertainment, Paul Pellizzari from Hard Rock Japan, Shumpei Kumagai from Melco Resorts and Entertainment Japan, Christopher Jones from Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Tim Drehkoff from Rush Street Japan and Arnaldo Ho from Macau’s SJM Holdings.
The presentations given by the executives of each company heavily pushed the financial benefits of the IR industry. The hard sell for resorts in Northern Japan is really heating up now.