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By Windsor Genova
A concessionaire of the Philippines' version of the Las Vegas Strip has completed construction of its hotel in portion of the 300-acre gaming site that it will develop into an integrated resort complex over the next few years.
Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels (BRH) announced on Tuesday the topping out of the Solaire Manila at the Entertainment City Manila located in the Paranaque City side of a reclaimed land in Manila Bay.
"Solaire Manila will be the first resort to be built and operational here in Entertainment City. Once open, I have high hopes that Solaire will immediately contribute to furthering tourism in the country, and the economy in general," said Enrique K. Razon Jr., BRH chairman and CEO, in his welcome message during the topping out ceremony.
The hotel is part of the first phase of the BRH's integrated resort complex covering nearly two million square feet of floor area and is estimated to cost $650 million to $1.2 billion. The phase includes three levels of podium that has the ballroom/convention facilities, gaming areas, restaurants, retail shops, and health and wellness facilities. There is also a 10-storey parking building.
The head of the state-owned gaming corporation PAGCOR, the proponent of the $20 billion Entertainment City Manila, welcomed the completion of Solaire Manila. In his speech at the ceremony, PAGCOR chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat said he sees the business success of BRH as the tourism sector is experiencing double-digit growth rates.
Aside from attracting local and foreign visitors, the complex is expected to generate more than 4,600 jobs and boost the country's ancillary service sectors, according to BRH. A 5,000-strong labor force is working 24/7 to complete the firm's integrated resort complex.
Ceremony guest Juan Ponce Enrile, president of the Philippine Senate, praised Razon and Teresita Sy-Coson, Banco De Oro Unibank chair, for their vision to put up the complex. Banco De Oro is financing the project.
When completed, the Entertainment City Manila will have 3,200 hotel rooms, which will have an annual capacity of one million tourists. It will drive the government's goal of achieving 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.
Aside from tourist arrivals, it will generate more than 20,000 jobs andl challenge Las Vegas' dominance in casino gaming.
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Philippine 'Vegas Strip' Concessionaire Completes First Resort Hotel | Global Viewpoint