Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd is to add more cultural and tourism elements to the site of the old Iec Long Firecracker Factory and its surrounding areas in Taipa, as part of a government-led revitalisation scheme. The casino firm will also help upgrade two old streets in downtown Macau, according to a press briefing on Friday.
The Iec Long Firecracker Factory was built in 1925, but its operations ceased in 1984. Part of the site was revamped last year by the government, and opened to the public in late 2022, said the director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Leong Wai Man (middle pictured), during Friday’s briefing.
Sands China will introduce new features to the old factory, while the government continues – for an additional year – its work to preserve the historic site. Sands China will add an augmented reality (AR) experience to display the factory’s history to visitors, as well as food and drinks outlets, said Sands China’s president, Wilfred Wong Ying Wai (second left), during the presentation.
The AR project is currently in the “design stage”, said the Sands China boss. The company expected to launch the AR-assisted tour experience “within the first half of next year,” he added.
Sands China will also set up some art installations and other decorative elements at the Taipa Houses areas, as well as a zone to offer food and drinks, disclosed Mr Wong. The Taipa Houses, consisting of a few historic houses, are located close to the old firecracker factory.
The casino operator will strive to arrange, still this year, “some [performance] programmes at the Taipa Houses and the plaza of the Cultural Centre of Macau,” remarked Mr Wong. The Cultural Centre of Macau is located on the Macau peninsula, next door to the Sands Macao casino hotel.
Sands China will also help revitalise the Patio da Eterna Felicidade in downtown Macau, an old Chinese-style courtyard that is currently being revamped by the government. The company plans to set up some “art galleries” to that space, stated Mr Wong.
Sands China will also upgrade a street close to Patio da Eterna Felicidade, Rua das Estalagens, which is currently lined with several local shops. Mr Wong said the company would provide an incentive scheme for local start-ups to set up their shops in Rua das Estalagens.
The Macau government has asked each of the city’s six casino concessionaires to promote “community tourism” in Macau’s older neighbourhoods – many of which traditionally have received few tourists – as part of the gaming firms’ non-gaming commitments for their 10-year concessions that began in January.
MGM China Holdings Ltd is helping in Macau’s Barra district, according to a briefing earlier this month. Wynn Macau Ltd is to support the government’s pedestrianisation of Rua da Felicidade, in the old town.
Casino group Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd will take on responsibility for some new tourism and leisure elements at two waterfront sites on Macau peninsula: Pier 23 and Pier 25 within the Inner Harbour district. The group will additionally help out at the Mount Fortress, also on the peninsula.
Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd is to help revitalise several historical buildings in Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, a thoroughfare also known as San Ma Lou, as well as its surrounding areas. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is to help the government revitalise the Lai Chi Vun Shipyards in Coloane.
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