Written By Carla Harris
Melco Crown Entertainment has released additional information about its fifth casino that will be opening its doors in mid-2015 and with it a spectacular array of offerings that are surely a world’s firsts in their own right.
The casino is set to capitalise on vacationing Chinese and has its sights firmly set on the middle class after the Macau gambling industry experienced its worst year in 2014, following Chinese anti-corruption policies being implemented by President Xi Jinping that effectively curbed high-rollers from frequenting the gambling mecca.
Studio City is set to boast a number of family-friendly activities as well as a rather unusual star attraction that is speculated to lure the masses – the casino is set to boast Asia’s highest Ferris wheel at a staggering 130 metres high. The ride will be nestled between the two hotel towers of the resort and was inspired by ‘two asteroids shooting through a Gotham city building’ according to developers.
In addition the resort has signed a deal with Times Warner that will allow them to include a slew of DC Comics superheroes and Warner Bros. characters in its rides and activities. Batman features prominently with a Batman Dark Flight virtual reality ride as well as a Batman climbing structure for children.
The $3.2 billion complex naturally also caters for adults and according to Bloomberg, who interviewed Lawrence Ho, chief executive officer of Melco Crown Entertainment, the casino will initially aim to have 400 gambling tables and 1600 hotel rooms available. On top of that the resort will feature a Pacha nightclub, a TV broadcast studio and a 5000-seat centre for events.
Despite the financial setbacks of 2014, Ho is optimistic about the development as close to 2 million mainland tourists visited the former Portuguese colony in November, an increase of 28 percent and 70 percent of the total, according to government figures.
Only time will tell if Melco’stourism gamble pays off.