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25 November 2008

$120-M hotel-casino resort breaks ground in Subic

A fifteen-story integrated resort-hotel worth $120 million will soon rise along the Waterfront Drive in this free port to provide a landmark development complete with convention center and casino.

The project, which will be known as Ocean 9 Casino and Hotel Resort, broke ground last Wednesday, with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza and Moon-Sung Choi, chairman of the proponent-firm Grand Utopia, Inc., leading the ceremony.


The event was witnessed by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) chairman and CEO Efraim Genuino, Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr., Zambales Vice-Gov. Anne Gordon, and representatives of the Korean business community in Subic.

According to Arreza, the Ocean 9 resort-hotel complex is designed to be the most beautiful hotel in the Subic Bay Freeport.

“This promises to be a significant landmark that will transform the face of Subic Bay , making it the pride of Olongapo and Zambales,” he added.

Choi, who presented a project brief during the ceremony, said the main facility will be a 15-storey hotel that will occupy an area of 9,173 sq. meters, while the secondary building that will occupy 4,200 sq. meters will house a three-storey casino.

The project, which is expected to yield more than 5,000 jobs, is scheduled for completion within two years, he said.

“We will do our best to develop the business under the direction of PAGCOR and SBMA, as we aspire to be at par with some of the world’s best tourism and entertainment attractions,” Choi said.

“The hotel and casino complex will be built using cutting-edge technology and advanced architectural systems in order to make a unique design that will blend comfort with entertainment,” he added.

As planned, the Ocean 9 casino will feature a central stage for live entertainment and performances, as well as a lift-up type of walkway that could be used for fashion shows, said Choi.

The first floor of the casino, where some 500 gaming tables will be clustered, will also have an organic light emitting diode (OLED) system for visual effects, he added.

The OLED system could produce scenes like a waterfall orr volcanic activity, Choi said.

The other side of the main hall, meanwhile, will have from 60 to 120 shops that will sell luxury brands, including premium items from Italy and France .

On the other hand, the hotel-casino complex will also boast convention and business facilities to complement leisure activities intended for foreign and local tourists, said Choi.

The Ocean 9 Casino and Hotel Resort project is considered to be a critical infrastructure in Subic ’s bid to attract more foreign tourists to the growing number of holiday destinations in this free port.

The hotel will be located near Subic ’s Alava Pier, which is being developed by another firm as a passenger terminal for cruise ships.

Alava is also being used for berthing by visiting US Navy ships that regularly dock in Subic during military exercises between the Philippines and the United States. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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