In a positive outlook for the Macau gaming industry, Melco Crown Entertainment will open the first two phases of its massive City of Dreams casino resort in the second quarter of this year. A job fair was held last month that attracted 10,000 applicants for 7,000 positions. The City of Dreams is located on the Cotai Strip, directly across from the Venetian.
City of Dreams will open with 550 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines on a 420,000-square-foot gaming floor. It will include 2,200 rooms, suites and villas at the Crown Towers, Hard Rock Hotel and Grand Hyatt.
CEO Lawrence Ho Yau-lung says a slow economy is actually working for the project.
“Opening the City of Dreams now is actually not a bad thing,” he said. “Recruitment is easier now, we are not over-budget; nor are we over-time. Financing is difficult now, but thankfully we did well in getting enough funds in 2006 and 2007.”
Ho says he believes things can only get better after the worst economic decline in Macau in years.
“The worst period for Macau’s tourism industry is over; 2009 will get better,” he said. But he predicted a “very tough” first six months of this year for gaming revenue.
“I predicted a fall from 15 percent to 30 percent. It’s going to remain flat, and then we will see single-digit growth later,” he said.