Hotel operator Waterfront Philippines Inc said in its 2020 annual report filed on Tuesday that it expects phase one of the reconstruction of the Manila Pavilion Hotel, a venue entitled to a casino, to be completed by the end of 2021.
A soft opening of the podium, which houses the public areas including the lobby, some food and drink outlets and the casino area at the ground floor level up to the third floor, “is expected by the first quarter of 2022,” added the report lodged with the Philippine Stock Exchange, noting redevelopment work had begun in 2018 following a major fire.
Waterfront Philippines currently runs two casino hotel properties in the holiday destination of Cebu, according to its annual report.
Referring to disruption linked to the Covid-19 pandemic which took hold in the Philippines starting from 2020, Waterfront Philippines stated: “Although the various community quarantines implemented in Metro Manila have caused some delays, construction activities have not been totally stopped.”
A general community quarantine, with some additional restrictions, has been extended until June 30 in Metro Manila as a Covid-19 countermeasure, according to a Monday announcement by the national government.
Waterfront Philippines noted in its annual report, that a “related party”, which had a sublease contract with the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), had “entered into a long-term lease contract” with a Waterfront Philippines unit called Acesite (Philippines) Hotel Corp, “for the operation of a casino”. As of December 31, the Acesite unit was 56 percent owned by Waterfront Philippines.
The 2020 annual report also noted that the soft launch for the redeveloped site would include the “opening of four hotel-room floors in the main hotel to accommodate casino players and local staycation guests”.
Waterfront Philippines said that general amenities, guest facilities and the remaining rooms of the main hotel were due to be completed in “Phases 2 and 3 of the reconstruction project”. Phase 2 is due to be completed by the “latter part of 2022″ and Phase 3 “by early 2023,” added the annual report.
“These two latter phases will be funded by the cash flows generated by the operations and, when necessary, bank borrowings,” stated Waterfront Philippines.
The leased site where the project stands is in Ermita, in Manila, and covers 6,500 square metres (69,965 sq feet), according to the annual report.
The plan for phased opening of the site was “based on management’s assumption that the travel and hospitality sectors, which are currently depressed due to the… Covid-19 pandemic, will return to pre-pandemic levels starting 2023, given that the vaccination programme of the government will take until the end of 2022 to roll out completely.”
As the hospitality industry comes to a full recovery, the group management said it expects to “attract a good share of the incoming tourist markets with the completion of Phases 2 and 3,” added the filing.
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