Thursday, September 15, 2011

Genting unveils US$3 bln Miami resort-casino plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay-led Genting Group has unveiled an artist impression of its planned US$3 billion resort with four hotels, 50 restaurants along Biscayne Bay in Miami that could be completed within three to five years, if it gets a casino license.

'If destination casinos are approved in the next year or two, they'll build it all at once,' Genting spokesman Tadd Schwartz was quoted by in a report dated Wednesday, Sept 14. "If not, they'll build it as the market demands, and take 10 to 15 years."

Genting, whom alongside the world's biggest casino names like Las Vegas Sands' Sheldon Adelson who had been lobbying for Florida legislators to allow gaming outside tribal areas, is the first to unveil a big scale plan that could change Miami's and the broader Florida state's economic outlook if the Singapore-style multiplier effect is attained.

The project that would change Miami's skyline would create up to 15,000 CONSTRUCTION [] jobs and employ 30,000 in the long-term, the quoted Genting officials as saying.

While architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia, who reportedly showed renderings of fish-shaped buildings, breezeways with ocean views and a 3.6-acre beach and swimmable lagoon, insists Genting sees gaming as 'just one of many amenities', analysts say Genting would have a harder time getting returns on its investment if a casino is not part of the equation. That is mirrored by how construction will only be fast-tracked once it gets a go-ahead to offer blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, slot machines and other gaming favourites on the property built on a 13.9 acre site where the Miami Herald building sits.

Genting proposes 5,200 rooms spread over four hotel towers, two condos with 1,000 units, a convention center and shopping, 50 restaurants and nightclubs covering about 10 million sq ft on that land it paid US$236 million for on May 27 this year, according to the report. A spot on the third and fourth floors have been staked aside for a casino.

"If you just drop a square box with slot machines and table games you won't have much of an economic impact," Colin Au, a principal in the Genting group was quoted as saying in the report. "But we think this will be the finest resort in America."

Architect Fort-Brescia sees the Resorts World site as a centerpiece to the three-mile section that runs past Bayfront Park, Bayside, AmericanAirlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center. "When you describe Miami and Florida, you inevitably come back to the water," he reportedly said. "We've captured that relationship with this design."

The state has yet to approve any kind of destination casino, let alone Genting's plan specifically, wrote. The report also quotes John Lockwood, a gaming law expert in Tallahassee who represents several gambling interests as saying: "The Genting proposal creates a unique policy decision for state lawmakers that will require balance between generating substantial state revenue and creating a competitive environment where the destination casinos, pari-mutuel facilities and Seminole Tribe can prosper.'

US Representative Erik Fresen, R-Miami, and Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, reportedly say they will propose legislation for companies such as Genting to bid on licenses for resort-style casinos in South Florida. "It won't be geared toward any one vendor," Bogdanoff reportedly said. "We're coming up with a concept and a framework, but at the end of the day you're going to have 160 people total [the House and the Senate] poking at this."

Genting, which already has Resorts World operations in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and soon, New York, also owns 50% of Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd that recently re-filed for listing in the US.

No comments:

Post a Comment