Lawrence Ho and James Packer Launches The City of Dreams

The City of Dreams casino and resort facility is due to open on Monday, June 1st, 2009 in Macau with fireworks and entertainment and the two heirs of the gaming industry in Asia-Lawrence Ho and James Packer-will preside over the opening ceremonies together with a
show next to a specially constructed lagoon. VIP’s will stay in the Crown Towers.

There is also a Hard Rock Hotel in the area that features different memorabilia from famous music artists like Madonna. A Grand Hyatt Hotel is also scheduled to open later this year. Gaming analysts and executive stated that the opening is a vote of confidence in Macau, considered to the world’s biggest gaming market, at a time when most gaming markets are trying to survive the financial crisis.

Warren Rooke, a fifteen year resident of Macau and a director of Bay Property said that the fact that the owners of City of Dreams has had the courage and confidence to go ahead with their plans while everyone else is having reservations is a good development for Macau.

Just down the road from the City of Dreams, whose construction cost a total of $18.4 billion Hong Kong dollars or $2.4 billion, stands as an evidence of the things that can go wrong. The skeletons of the St. Regis, Shangri-La, Sheraton and Traders hotels stand dormant since Las Vegas Sands ran into trouble due to the economic crisis.

The City of Dreams is the first gaming facility to open in two years since the Venetian Macau opened in August 2007. The City of Dreams, which features a 420,000 square-foot casino and the unfinished Las Vegas Sands hotels are both located on the Cotai Strip.

The head of Asian property and gaming research at the CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Aaron Fischer, predicts that gaming revenues in Macau will rise 2% this year to 110 billion patacas or $13.7 billion. That is optimistic than the estimates of most gaming analysts, who expect a slight drop in earnings.