Okada Delays, Boosts Investment, Tops Off Manila Resort

In exchange for an additional delay in opening, Tiger Resort, the Manila project being built to Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment, will invest a total of $2 billion in the project. The estimate is a third higher than previously announced, and may actually reach $4 billion before it’s finished. The company celebrated a milestone last week with a topping off ceremony (l.).

Just prior to a topping off ceremony for the Tiger Resort at PAGCOR’s Entertainment City, Universal Entertainment announced yet another delay, but also an increase in investment for the Manila property. The property will now open in December 2016, but will also increase its budget to billion, a situation that has been approved by PACGOR, according to its vice president, Francis Hernando. Universal Entertainment, controlled by former Wynn Resorts Co-Chairman Kazuo Okada, must submit proof that the money is available, according to Hernando, who says 0 million has been spent so far on Phase 1 of the project. The initial opening of the project was slated for March 2015.

Okada has repeatedly stretched the patience of PAGCOR by his halting development and also by dropping several Philippine partners, a requirement for any casino development in the country. Earlier this year, Okada settled on a relationship with local businessman Antonio Cojuangco, who bought the land upon which Tiger Resorts is located.

Phase 1 of the project will include two hotels, 1,000 rooms, 500 gaming tables, a nightclub and a man-made beach underneath a glass dome.

Kenji Sugiyama, president of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., says 8,000 employees will cater to the needs of every guest.

“Part of our vision is to be the one-stop destination,” Sugiyama told Bloomberg News. “Once they come here, they don’t need to go out—everything is here.”

The company celebrated a topping-off last week in Manila, attended by Okada, Universal executives and Philippine politicians and regulators.

Tiger Resort is part of a 297-acre development on the shores of Manila Bay that includes four integrated resorts. Bloomberry Resorts’ $1.2 billion Solaire Manila opened in March 2013, while Melco Crown Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila opened last February. Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., along with Malaysia’s Genting, is planning to open Bayshore City Resorts World in phases starting from 2019.