CYPRUS: Europe\\\’s biggest casino resort to open 2021 at a cost of EUR 600 mln

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Europe’s largest integrated casino resort (ICR) is on track to open in Limassol in late 2021 but the cost will exceed the initial budget of €550 mln to around €600 mln, Melco said.

The Cyprus casino complex has secured all the necessary planning and building permits, while every foundation pile has been completed for the construction which will cost €300 mln.

Vice President of Construction at Melco William Cornish said the resort will be operational at the end of 2021 after two years of construction and once all systems are tested.

“Once we are happy the building is functional then we will open it,” said Cornish.

He admitted the initial completion date – for mid-2021-had been pushed back due to a “few issues with planning permits, we didn’t get an early start”.

“We waited, so we are much more confident of the completion date at this time as stated in the development documents.”

Melco CEO Lawrence Ho said there have been additions to the property, so the budget is slightly more than the original estimate of €550 mln.

“Total investment will be around €600 mln, so we are extremely happy at the overall operating environment, optimistic about the growth of the economy and we have lots of confidence going forward,” said Ho.

He said it was important that the casino resort gives a really good first impression as this is what counts when attracting premium guests.

“So, we will take our time to ensure the operation is smooth and well-coordinated.”

The construction of the City of Dreams Mediterranean ICR was awarded to Greece’s Avax-Terna J.V., who commenced work in May 2019.

City of Dreams Mediterranean is located in West Limassol with the owners saying it will be built according to the “highest sustainability standards and adapted to the natural environment of the surrounding area”.

It will feature a sixteen-storey five-star hotel with 500 guest rooms and suites as well as MICE facilities comprising 9,600 sq. meters.

The gaming area totals 7,500 sq. meters and will include over 100 tables and 1,000 state-of-the-art gaming machines.

The Plush interior design of City of Dreams is personalised specifically for the Cyprus ICR while the exterior design features distinctly Mediterranean influences.

Macau’s Melco International and its Cypriot partner CNS group are behind the first casino resort in Cyprus.

There is a 1,500 sqm multipurpose function space and a 3,000 sqm Expo Centre and retail area covering 1,200 sqm replicating the streetscape of old Nicosia city centre.

The casino area will accommodate 140 gaming tables, 1,200 gaming machines, 11 restaurants and bars that employ 2,400 staff but generate around 6,500 direct, indirect and related full-time jobs.

The casino complex, a landmark for Cyprus and the wider region, is expected to attract an additional 300,000 tourists per year and should put Cyprus on the map as an international conference destination.

It also aims to be a regional conference player with companies from Dubai, Greece and the UK already showing interest with plans to tap into wedding tourism as well.

Las Vegas-style entertainment at the resort will be an added attraction that will make it a “must see” destination in efforts to address seasonality.

Melco says City of Dreams Mediterranean will create 4,000 local job opportunities during the construction phase and approximately 2,400 permanent jobs once it is fully operational.

After the second year of operation, the Integrated Resort is expected to contribute approximately €700 mln per year to the Cyprus economy, accounting for around 4% of annual GDP.

When the Limassol casino shuts down in three years’ time, all personnel will automatically be transferred to the Integrated Casino Resort.