The provincial government of South Gyeongsang in South Korea signed on Wednesday a deal with an international consortium to develop a movie-themed park based on 20th Century Fox’s films. The project, to be part of a larger entertainment complex featuring a casino, will be located near the city of Busan, in the south of the country.
The entertainment complex will be built in a 2.8-million-square-metre (30.1 million sq feet) site in Changwon, according to media reports.
The partners in the movie-themed park project include Fox Consumer Products Inc, the marketing and licensing arm of 20th Century Fox group, and Village Roadshow Theme Parks Ltd, one of Australia’s largest theme park operators, with interests in China and the United States. The site is forecast to open by the second half of 2018.
The entertainment complex will also include a six-star hotel, a water park, a cinema, retail areas and a golf course. The theme park will be its centrepiece, featuring more than 25 rides and attractions with characters and story lines from 20th Century Fox’s movies. The reports gave now details about the casino component.
Local authorities expect the entertainment complex to attract around 10 million foreign and local tourists a year. They believe it will benefit from the fact there are more than 60 cities with a population in excess of one million within three-hours’ flying time of Busan’s international airport, said the media reports.
Only one of South Korea’s 17 casinos is currently open to players holding solely a South Korean passport.
This will be the second casino development in Asia tied to a movie-themed park based on 20th Century Fox’s films. The redevelopment plan for Malaysia’s casino resort Genting Highlands, owned and operated by casino firm Genting Malaysia Bhd, also includes a 20th Century Fox outdoor theme park, to be completed in 2016.
There are several large-scale casino projects under development in South Korea. A consortium including Las Vegas-based casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp has plans for a major foreigners-only gaming resort near Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. The groundbreaking is forecast for early next year, with a possible first phase opening in 2018.
South Korean casino operator Paradise Co is developing its new “Paradise City” resort, 40 kilometres west of Seoul. The US$1.7-billion property will include hotels and restaurants, and a foreigner-only casino. The project, to be ready by 2017, is a joint venture with Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings Inc.
Gross gaming revenue in South Korea totalled US$2.7 billion in 2013 according to the research arm of Malaysia’s CIMB Bank.
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