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Old August 17th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #381
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pictures????? please
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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #382
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Pagcor to the rescue! Watch out Macau!
By Likha Cuevas-Miel, Reporter

MOVE over Macau and Singapore, the newest Asian entertainment hub is rising in Manila.

Seeing that the country sorely lacks a recognizable tourism marketing point—like Singapore’s Sentosa or Hong Kong’s Disneyland—the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Efraim C. Genuino, hatched a plan to convert a reclaimed area of Manila Bay into a bustling world-class entertainment center.

Called the Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Entertainment City Manila, the 108-hectare project is envisioned to be a fully integrated resort complex to be built in various phases over the next 10 years. According to Pagcor, this will allow the state-run firm to shift from “mere casino gaming into wholesome, family-oriented recreation and entertainment business.”

The project has been noticed internationally because it pits the Philippines against Macau as a gambling center and against Singapore as an entertainment, cultural and convention destination.

Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Entertainment City Manila can offer more than just gambling (Macau) or just theme parks (Sentosa, Singapore). For our capital is the gateway to the other tourist attractions in the country like miles of pristine white beaches with crystal blue waters, which Macau and Singapore don’t have.

Entertainment City would serve as a jump-off point to other tourist haunts in the Philippines or it may stand alone as the focal point of a visitor’s stay.

According to Pagcor’s blueprint, the entertainment complex along Manila Bay will be divided into specialized areas featuring six-star hotels, world-class theme parks, educational and cultural complexes. It will also have shopping malls, a commercial district, sports stadiums, celebrity-themed restaurants, convention halls, state-of-the-art theaters, gaming facilities, residential villages, and a hospital district.

However, the religious sector has opposed the project. Churchmen see it as a massive scheme to promote gambling and corrupt the population.

Genuino defended the project. He said Entertainment City is not a gambling paradise for the casino is just small part of the whole package.

“In a big hotel with 2,000 to 3,000 rooms, the casino component is very small. With the 40 hectares, you will not build a casino in more than one hectare. For every 40-hectare of development, only less than 5 percent is casino. The good thing here is we were able to secure the [commitment of the] biggest theme park [operator] in the world,” the Pagcor chairman told the press.

Attracting big-name investors

Pagcor managed to amass huge investment commitments—at least $8 billion—from some of the region’s biggest leisure and resort players. Genuino confirmed that biggest investors would be the Genting group of Malaysia and the Japanese Aruze group, the partner of US casino mogul Steve Wynn. Each investor pledged to spend at least $3 billion to help build Entertainment City.

Both groups also expressed their intention to start building this year and open their respective facilities to the public two years from now, Genuino said.

The Genting group tied up with local conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI), a publicly listed firm owned by Andrew Tan, for the project. The partnership is forged between Genting’s Star Cruises Ltd.—the world’s third largest cruise operator—and AGI’s subsidiary, Travelers International Hotel Group Inc.

Kingson U. Sian, AGI president and chief operating officer, said that the terms of the partnership with Star Cruises are still being threshed out but he is positive that the capital injection of both companies would go beyond the minimum requirement of US$1 billion by the government. AGI recently secured a provisional license from Pagcor, the first among the four groups to get it.

Based on proposals submitted to the gaming regulator, the Malaysian group is planning to put up a theme park over a 35-hectare area it would lease from the government. Genting is the franchise holder of Universal Studios theme parks in Asia, one of which is under construction in Singapore. It also poured about six billion Singapore dollars into an integrated resort on Sentosa Island.

The Japanese group, on the other hand, proposes to build the country’s biggest Ferris’ wheel dubbed as the “Manila Eye” that is similar to that of London.

Aruze also plans to build a sports arena, a theater, a museum that would host displays of religious icons, and a 2,500-room hotel and casino. It also plans to trump the existing Manila Ocean Park by building the country’s biggest oceanarium within its leased domain.

Kazuo Okada, Aruze group chairman, told reporters in a recent gaming expo in Manila that the concept is still up for approval by the government with various licenses and zoning permits yet to be secured. A Pagcor source who refused to be named told The Manila Times that rumors of Aruze’s lack of commitment to the project were not true. “It’s just that they are waiting for a few details to be ironed out. Besides AGI-Genting, Aruze is the most serious group in plunking down money for the project,” the source said.

Bloombury Investments Ltd., a British Virgin Islands firm, also plans to lease 15 hectares and inject at least $1 billion for a project that would include three luxury hotels with a total capacity of 1,500 rooms. The plan also includes a high-end retail shopping, celebrity-themed dining, a showroom and museum, and a major entertainment and sports center. Pagcor said in a statement that these plans are based on initial talks only and are yet to be finalized.

However, Bloombury still has to get its act together before it can push on with its application for a license with Pagcor. The Australian reported that entertainment and gaming firm Crown Ltd. denied that its chairman, James Packer, was in “advanced talks” with the British Virgin Islands company for a possible investment in the Entertainment City. Packer, who also heads Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL), is Australia’s third richest man.

The third investor is the SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), one of the country’s biggest conglomerates that made its fortune in malls, retailing and real estate. Tessie Sy-Coson, SMIC vice chairperson, said the SM group’s commitment to the Pagcor initiative involves its own investments within the Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex that it owns. SMIC recently engaged hotel services provider Carlson Hotels Worldwide-Asia Pacific to manage Regent and Radisson branded hotels within the complex.

She said a casino may be in the works but nothing is definite yet. Another publicly listed firm, Belle Corp., may get into the picture and join the SM group in the casino part of its plans. However, Willy N. Ocier, Belle Corp. vice chairman, said things are still sketchy and everything is still under review.

The Pagcor source told The Times that a racing circuit is also in the works to bring the Formula 1 Grand Prix in the Philippines. The F1, which is the most popular and well-financed motor racing sport in the world, already has Grand Prix circuits in Malaysia and Singapore.

A huge boost to Philippine tourism

Over the next five years, the Pagcor project would host at least 7,000 hotel rooms and generate at least 250,000 jobs for Filipinos, most of whom will be employed as construction workers, hotel staff members and entertainers. The Entertainment City is also expected to remit at least 25 percent of its total revenues—in the form of leases and franchise and income taxes—generated within the complex to the government treasury.

Before the Entertainment City can be a “distinctive tourist destination” that the government hopes it would be, there are several things that should be done first. One of these should be the improvement in the marketing of the Philippines as a premiere destination.

Observers polled by The Times say that the government’s marketing efforts pale in comparison with Malaysia’s branding of “Malaysia, Truly Asia” or with the tourism campaign of the tiny city-state of Singapore.

Last year, the Philippines only managed to attract 3.08 million foreign visitors, an anemic number compared with the 25 million tourists that visited the small Chinese territory of Hong Kong. With the Entertainment City in the horizon, the government hopes to catch a fraction of the projected 100 million Chinese tourists that will be traveling abroad by 2010 and the continuous flow of Asian travelers like Koreans and Japanese.

Before that, the government must prepare for the influx of tourists by building more roads and airports to accommodate them. An efficient transport system, comparable with that of other Asian countries, must be put in place to make Manila tourist-friendly.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #383
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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS THEME PARK SOON TO RISE IN RP

The arrival of a Universal Studios theme park in the Philippines is creating a huge buzz after the Genting Berhad Group secured the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.(Pagcor)’s nod for its proposed project within the Las Vegas-like Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Manila Bay Integrated Tourism City.

Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Efraim Genuino said the Genting Group has committed to develop 35 hectares of the 90-hectare prime reclaimed land facing Manila Bay into a world-class tourist destination.

Genuino said the Genting Berhad Group is planning to invest $3 billion in the Manila Bay Integrated City, the Philippines’ biggest tourism development project.

The Genting Berhad Group owns the Genting Highlands Resort in Malaysia and holds the exclusive development rights of film giant Universal Studios in Asia. It has teamed up with its subsidiary Star Cruises and Alliance Global Inc., the listed investment holding firm of retail tycoon Andrew Tan, for its proposed project in the $15-20 billion casino resort complex along Manila Bay.

Genuino said the Genting Berhard Group’s proposal includes the development of leisure and entertainment facilities including a theme park, state-of-the-art theaters, amusement and cultural centers, retail and gaming center and hotels.

Universal Studio’s movie-theme Hollywood park has 13 attractions based on movies including Shrek, Jurassic Park and The Terminator. Excluding its restaurants and theaters, the theme park alone draws about four million visitors a year.

Besides Hollywood, Universal Studios has other parks in Orlando, Barcelona and Osaka, Japan.

Another investor group, Aruze Corp. of Japan is planning to put up an integrated resort featuring a hotel with 2,000 standard rooms and 300 VIP suites; a major oceanarium targeted to be the world’s largest; theaters, a sports arena, a Holy museum and a giant ferris wheel similar to the London Eye to be known as the Manila Eye.

The Aruze Group is likewise infusing $3 billion in capital for the development of 40 hectares of land in the Manila Bay Integrated City.

Genuino said Aruze, a leading gaming machine maker known for its ties with the popular Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas and Macau, may start development of its project in the second quarter this year which may take two years to complete.

Other groups whose project concepts have been approved by Pagcor include Bloomburry Investments Ltd. of Australia which will develop 15 hectares of the reclaimed prime land, and the SM Investments Corp. (SMIC).

Bloomburry plans to build a hotel, sports arena and other tourist attractions.

Genuino said SMIC has yet to hatch a plan for the Manila Bay Integrated City but said this would be a unique concept.

Tessie Sy, SMIC vice-chair, said that aside from developments within the Mall of Asia complex along Roxas Boulevard, the company may work on something in the future to further promote the tourism estate.

SMIC, together with international hotel firms Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific and Accor will develop and manage a 350-room hotel in SM Bay City, which will be located near the SMX Convention Center.

Meantime, two administration congressmen supported yesterday the Integrated Tourism City, saying the nation should rake in billions in potential income from the project instead of growing grass on reclaimed land.

“We also need jobs. We have 430,000 new college graduates a year, but not all can be absorbed by existing companies,” Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez, House trade and industry committee chairman, said in the midst of reports that Catholic bishops are opposing the plan.

Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing said he would prefer “that we grow money instead of grass on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.”

Alvarez said the Pagcor project would put the country in a position to catch a portion of China’s increasing spending on gambling.

“Due to China’s growing affluence, its 1.3 billion people are spending $70 billion in gambling bets a year, according to one estimate,” he said.

He said the gambling revenues of Macau, a Chinese territory, increased by 47 percent to $10.34 billion last year and have exceeded those of Las Vegas.

He said the Pagcor project could also prevent rich Filipinos from going to Macau or Las Vegas and would allow them to “just spend their money here.”

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Old August 18th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #384
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hope the monorail will look like this...

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Old August 18th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #385
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Any pics of updates of the site please .
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Old August 18th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #386
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the site is still vacated. and the project is just approves not yet prep. so we have to wait for it.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #387
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Is that lower deck/section not centered or was the a modeling error? Looks very odd.

Overall i like the design though, it's nice to have an observation deck that high.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #388
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Quote:
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the site is still vacated. and the project is just approves not yet prep. so we have to wait for it.
OK, thanks
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #389
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I'm not sure what people are calling awful. The green one?
It's a bamboo which represents the Asian heritage of Philippines.
Can't be as awful as the other towers in the world like KL's.
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Old August 18th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #390
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Its pretty bad... bland and outdated... you can see smaller versions of this tower in many cities... cost seems quite high for this tower too...
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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #391
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How much do you think it is?
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Old August 19th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #392
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Quote:
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I'm not sure what people are calling awful. The green one?
It's a bamboo which represents the Asian heritage of Philippines.
Can't be as awful as the other towers in the world like KL's.
I completely agree with this diz.
Yeah its represents the Philippines.
And this is far more better than the canceled tower in indonesia.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #393
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The problem is that it resembles other towers. See because of that most of the foreigners posting threads here don't really think its anything special. So did my ex-boss who's an AIA architect. I'm really hoping for a redesign. For a tower of this a height only a truly unique and iconic design would suffice. Otherwise its only something good for the statistics books.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #394
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i actually like it. it will be very iconic at night. just a little bit twitching so it would not look control towerish. this is better than the KL tower which was designed a by filipino.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 04:04 AM   #395
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really?...what was the architects name?
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Old August 21st, 2008, 02:26 PM   #396
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yeah... please tell the name?
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Old September 7th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #397
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New Pics of PagCor Project....Net find










The Future is Here!!!...
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Old September 7th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #398
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Whoas. Same tower in two pics. I guess they might use that design.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 04:13 AM   #399
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i love the pagcor HQ
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Old September 8th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #400
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I think the pagcor tower really looks amazing. Very elegant. The color of the tower (green) really simbolizes PAGCOR and phil architecture.
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