|Galaxy reschedules Macau mega resort opening to 2011|
Macau, China, 12 Nov - The Galaxy Entertainment Group's (GEG) mega resort in Macau is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2011, the group's chairman, Hong Kong tycoon Lui Che Woo, told a press conference held at the Galaxy StarWorld Hotel Wednesday.
Construction on the Cotai project began in 2002 but its opening has since then been rescheduled several times. Last year, the gaming operator announced that the mega-project would open its first phase in the middle of this year.
According to The Macau Post Daily when the Cotai project's first phase opens in 2011, the 550,000-square-metre property will offer around 2,200 five-star hotel rooms, suites and villas comprising the 1,500-room Galaxy Macau hotel tower complete with casino and entertainment areas, as well as two hotel partners, the Japanese-owned 410-room Hotel Okura and the ultra-exclusive Singapore-operated Banyan Tree that will have 238 luxurious suites and 16 floating villas.
In addition, Galaxy Macau will include retail facilities and more than 50 food and beverage outlets. Its gaming facilities, divided into five auspiciously-themed areas, will have a capacity for over 600 gaming tables as well as 1,200 slot machines and other electronic gaming machines.
The press conference also pointed out that above the gaming area there will be a 52,000-square-metre "oasis" resort, with "lush" gardens, man-made water falls and six swimming pools, including the world's largest sky wave pool and an artificial beach comprising 350 tonnes of white sand.
Speaking at the press conference, GEG Deputy Chairman Francis Lui Yiu Tung said that Galaxy Macau would create an additional 7,700 jobs, predominantly for local people.
"We currently have about 5,000 employees and 90 percent of them are locals. The new 7,700 [positions] will continue to give more opportunities to locals," Francis Lui said.
Lui Che Woo also said that the budget for developing Galaxy Macau stood at HK$14.1 billion (US$ 1.77 billion), with his company still seeking about HK$8 to HK$9 billion (US$ 1.13 billion) to complete the first phase ahead of its opening in 2011.
Galaxy's revenue reached HK$2.85 billion (US$360 million) in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 16 percent on the same quarter of last year and an increase of five percent on the second quarter of this year.
Galaxy's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and non-recurring items (EBITDA) in the third quarter reached HK$278 million, up 181 percent compared to the same quarter of last year.
The company's four "City Club" casinos reported a "solid" quarter, contributing HK$42 million in EBITDA.
Galaxy owns five of Macau's 33 casinos.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg last night quoted Galaxy's Chief Financial Officer Robert Drake as saying that the company expected to have financing for its Cotai project "locked up" this year.
Galaxy paid the local government 2.92 billion patacas (US$ 370 million) in September for its Cotai site.
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