The doors to MGM Cotai officially opened at 7:30 p.m. yesterday at the Lion Lobby Entrance, as the resort’s first batch of visitors filtered by an 11-meter-tall golden lion statue that stands guard outside the property.
At a press conference earlier in the day, CEO of MGM Resorts International and Chairperson of MGM China Holdings Jim Murren credited his partnership with Pansy Ho for the impact he expects the property to make on Macau.
“We set out with a vision to develop an integrated resort that brings first-of-
its-kind experiences to Macau and beyond. I am incredibly proud of the talented global team of MGM professionals for bringing this vision to life with the opening of MGM Cotai,” said Murren.
“MGM is committed to supporting the development of Macau as a global tourism destination and I am grateful to the Macau government for allowing us the opportunity to invest and develop a second property here.”
Murren was joined on stage by Grant Bowie, the CEO of MGM China Holdings, and Pansy Ho, co-Chairperson of MGM China Holdings, as well as two of the resort’s four celebrity chefs, Janice Wong and Mitsuharu Tsumura.
For her part, Pansy Ho said that her ongoing partnership with MGM remains “innovative” and that the collaboration has worked to “serve Macau.”
“We have been working wholeheartedly to build Macau as a world center of tourism and leisure,” she said. “All the while, we have upheld our mission, which is to serve Macau. The Macau SAR […] has now become a distinguished ‘global brand’, allowing us to showcase our ambition and determination.”
Grant Bowie described MGM Cotai as the “next generation of integrated resort,” but added “we are not trying to be everything to everybody.”
In regards to the possibility of gaming enterprises setting up shop in the Southern Chinese island of Hainan, Bowie said that this possibility has been raised several times already and would like be raised again in the future. “I think this is the sixth or seventh time that there have been stories about Hainan,” he said. “I think gaming in China is a challenging issue [but] I think the government of China will work through this process.”
Bowie also said that he expects the Chinese New Year to be a very strong period for MGM Holdings. The holiday period is traditionally one of Macau’s busiest and MGM Cotai has opened just in time to benefit from it.
MGM’s first foray onto the Cotai Strip makes it one of the last Macau operators to develop a family-friendly, mass-market integrated resort, following Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Palace and Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s The Parisian.
But the long-awaited addition to the strip may have a positive effect on gambling revenue growth for the whole city.
That’s according to analysts such as Praveen K. Choudhary, who according to Bloomberg said MGM Cotai’s 1,400 rooms would be a boon for Macau.
MGM China shares jumped as much as 1.6 percent in Hong Kong yesterday, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 2.3 percent.
CE officiates grand opening ceremony
A GRAND Opening Ceremony was held yesterday at MGM Cotai shortly before the property’s doors were opened to the public. The ceremony, which included several entertainment acts, was officiated by Chief Executive Chui Sai On, who was joined by Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong and Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam.