The management of casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd expects a proposed extension to its Wynn Palace casino resort on Cotai will help ease pressure on the property’s current room portfolio. So said the company’s chief executive Matt Maddox (pictured in a file photo).
The glass-and-steel extension, dubbed the Crystal Pavilion, and a new 650-room hotel tower are costed at US$2 billion. Construction on the site within the grounds of Wynn Palace is scheduled to begin late in 2021.
A later phase of extension, on a “north parcel” within the Wynn Palace plot, is yet to be announced in terms of cost and timetable. It will also have a hotel tower with an extra 650 rooms.
“It’s clear that we need more rooms at Wynn Palace,” Mr Maddox said on Tuesday during a conference call with investment analysts, following the second quarter results announcement of Wynn Resorts Ltd. The latter is the parent of Wynn Macau Ltd.
He added: “Our hotel is full. On the weekends, we’re turning away customers that we do not want to be turning away.”
Wynn Resorts announced last month details of its plan to expand the Wynn Palace casino resort. According to Mr Maddox, no gaming facilities will be included at the new extension; plans include an art museum, theatre and “destination food hall”.
“We think that the Crystal Pavilion project will be attractive to a much broader audience” than just Wynn Palace, Mr Maddox said during Tuesday’s conference call.
“We expect over 10 million visits to [Crystal Pavilion] on an annual basis,” he added. “The premium mass [players] will be in the [new] hotel and we think that we’ll get significant incremental visitation from the core mass [players] with the [Crystal Pavilion] project,” Mr Maddox stated.
He said that the development of Crystal Pavilion should not bring significant disruption to operations at Wynn Palace: according to the Wynn executive, the corridor that will connect the two properties was already developed as part of the original Wynn Palace but is currently an area usually closed to the public.
“Outside of construction traffic on the roads, the overall property should feel very little impact on the new construction,” said Mr Maddox.
Wynn Macau revamp almost ready
During Tuesday’s conference call, the management of Wynn Macau Ltd said the ongoing revamp of its Wynn Macau casino hotel in the downtown Peninsula district should be ready by year-end.
“We are 40-percent on the way through remodelling the Encore rooms,” Wynn Macau Ltd president Ian Coughlan said. “We’re hoping to have everything finished by the end of the year.”
The revamp of the Wynn Macau property aims to make it less VIP-centric, according to management. The programme includes reconfiguring the West Casino, remodelling the Encore Hotel Tower, building three new restaurants and adding 8,000 square feet (743 sq metres) of retail area.
Wynn Macau Ltd’s executives also discussed on Tuesday the current trends of Macau’s VIP gaming market.
“Macau is… really [a] core mass market-driven market right now,” Mr Maddox said. “We’re continuing to see some choppiness in the premium market and in the VIP market.”
He also admitted a negative impact to the city’s casino sector from regional transport disruption caused by the ongoing mass protests in neighbouring Hong Kong.
“When you have hundreds of flights cancelled out of Hong Kong and some reluctance to travel, I do think that that is impacting the premium-end the business,” said the CEO.
Mr Coughlan agreed: “What’s happening in Hong Kong… is certainly going to impact business in the short-term. There has been disruption to people movement between Hong Kong and Macau and it looks like it’s going to continue for the next few weeks at least.”
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"One thing that is certain under the coronavirus era is that the biggest beneficiaries are the illegal operators, both bricks and mortar and online"
Partner and director overseeing government affairs at casino industry consultancy Global Market Advisors