Melco to Up Cyprus Casino Resort Investment

Hong Kong gaming and hospitality giant Melco to exceed its original budget for Cyprus’ first casino resort, Property President reveals

City of Dreams Mediterranean is on track to open doors in Limassol in 2021, and its final construction cost will exceed the originally announced €550-million investment, Cypriot business news outlet the Financial Mirror reported earlier today citing Property President Craig Ballantyne.

Construction of what would be Europe’s first integrated resort with a casino floor is slated to begin early next year, it also became clear. Melco Resorts & Entertainment and its Cypriot partner CNS Group are currently reviewing the four developers that are bidding to build the luxury hotel and casino complex. The selection process is expected to be completed sometime in January and construction is set to begin in February.

Mr. Ballantyne said that all the necessary licenses to proceed with construction will be secured over the next three weeks. The official, who was appointed as President of the resort earlier this year, said that it is “a 29-month build”, so the property is on track to become operational in 2021.

A temporary casino with 258 slot machines, 33 gaming tables, a VIP gaming area, two bars and a Columbia Bistro restaurant opened doors this past June. The facility will remain operational until the main resort is launched.

The Main Resort

Once fully operational, City of Dreams Mediterranean will feature a 500-room hotel, villas, event and conference facilities, an Expo Center, retail area, food and beverage facilities, and multiple entertainment options. The casino will have 1,200 slot machines and 140 gaming tables.

According to early projections, the resort will contribute €700 million per year to the Cypriot economy after its second year of operation. In addition, it is hoped to help the tiny island nation combat seasonality and turn into a popular tourist destination throughout the year.

City of Dream Mediterranean will also aim to put Cyprus on the map as a major conference destination. Mr. Ballantyne said that they “have the space to be a regional conference tourism player.” The official further revealed that companies from the UK, Greece, and Dubai have already expressed interest in the resort’s convention facilities. Melco and its local partner’s plans further involve tapping into wedding tourism, Mr. Ballantyne added.

Two satellite casinos have also opened doors as part of the Hong Kong gambling and hospitality giant’s expansion into Cyprus. C2 Nicosia launched nearly two weeks ago in the Cypriot capital, while C2 Larnaca opened two locations at Larnaca International Airport this past Friday. The Nicosia facility has 50 slot machines and five gaming tables, while the Larnaca one features 42 slot machines and no table games.

Two more satellite casinos are slated to open next year – one in Paphos and the other in Ayia Napa. There will be a delay in the opening of the Paphos facility as developers are looking for a new site. Parking issues at the original location prevented the property’s launch. The satellite casino in Ayia Napa is expected to become operational by April 2019.

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