Philippine-listed Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp announced on Monday a partnership with The Ault Group, a U.S.-based nightclub-consulting firm led by established club operator Michael Van Cleef Ault. The deal will bring two of Ault Group’s nightclub brands – Pangaea and Chaos – into the City of Dreams Manila casino resort.
City of Dreams Manila, a venture between Melco Crown Philippines and local partner Belle Corp, is due to open in the fourth quarter of 2014. Belle is controlled by SM Group, headed by Henry Sy, patriarch of the Philippines’ richest family according to Forbes magazine. The property will be operated by Melco Crown Philippines.
According to previous filings by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, the parent of Melco Crown Philippines, one of Melco Crown Philippines’ units – MCE Leisure Ltd – will be entitled to retain all profits from non-gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila. Melco Crown Philippines must however share gaming revenue with Belle.
“Renowned for pioneering the ‘Ultra-Lounge’ concept in the 1990s, Pangaea has become a staple for those familiar with its intimate and sophisticated club set,” Melco Crown Philippines stated in a press release.
“Chaos is credited for being the world’s first ‘bottle service’ night club,” added the firm.
Melco Crown Philippines said Pangea would be able to host up to 400 guests a night in more than 730 square metres (7,858 square feet) of space, including VIP areas. The brand also has an outlet (pictured) at Singapore casino resort Marina Bay Sands. Pangea Singapore is reportedly the highest earning club in the world per square foot.
The Chaos nightclub will feature a dance club and private karaoke rooms. It will be spread across two levels covering approximately 3,000 square metres (32,392 square feet) and will have capacity for more than 2,000 customers.
Both clubs will be situated in City of Dreams Manila’s Fortune Egg, described by Melco Crown Philippines as “an architecturally-unique dome-like structure, which will be accented with creative exterior lighting design”.
Melco Crown Philippines announced in June a hotel management agreement for a Hyatt-branded hotel at City of Dreams Manila. The hotel will feature 365 guestrooms, two food and beverage areas, a fitness centre, VIP lounge and outdoor swimming pool.
The company had previously stated the property would also have an approximately 260-room Crown Towers hotel, using the branding of Crown Resorts Ltd, one of two controlling shareholders of parent Melco Crown.
City of Dreams Manila will also have a Nobu Hotel – the first in Asia – taking advantage of the brand recognition globally of Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Nobu’s brand ambassador, Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro, who is also a shareholder in Nobu Hospitality LLC.
On the entertainment front, the company in May entered into a licensing agreement with popular American animation studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc for City of Dreams Manila. The casino resort will host animated characters including Kung Fu Panda Po, Shrek and King Julien of Madagascar, under an education-based, interactive entertainment concept called ‘DreamPlay by DreamWorks’.
“Introducing world-class clubs and a sophisticated international nightlife experience to City of Dreams Manila reinforces our overall entertainment destination strategy… and further enhances the regional and international leisure destination appeal of Manila,” Clarence Chung, chairman and president of Melco Crown Philippines, stated.
With the partnership, The Ault Group enters the Philippine market for the first time, expanding its nightclub operations in Asia, which include presences in India as well as Singapore.
“The Philippines is a highly important market with extraordinary growth potential,” Mr Ault was quoted as saying. “It has a huge young and educated demography, many of whom have travelled the world and seek the very best in nightlife entertainment.”
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