Melco opens $3.2 billion casino with bet on Batman to revive fortunes

27 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Batman Ride, 400-Foot Ferris Wheel Aimed at Reviving Macau.

Hedge funds are looking to short Macau stocks after a sharp rally from the bottom, while long-only investors are cautious because they don’t want to be caught in the storm, concluded Credit Suisse after meeting with 80 clients during a marketing trip.MACAU, Oct. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A constellation of celebrity ‘star chefs’ today served up a taste of the unique culinary experiences to be enjoyed at Studio City as they unveiled details of their signature restaurants, set to establish Asia’s Entertainment Capital as the ‘must-go’ gourmet dining destination in Macau. Studio City’s roster of internationally acclaimed chefs, including multi Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse; world-leading Chef Pâtissier Pierre Hermé; renowned master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, the critically acclaimed Chef Alan Wong; ‘Global Chef Award’ winner, Chef Hidemasa Yamamoto; and World Champion of Chinese Cooking Gold Medalist Chef Tam Kwok Fung, will be joined by French Michelin-starred Chef Guillaume Galliot, executive chef of The Tasting Room at City of Dreams Macau, in preparing a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ dining experience for the Studio City Grand Opening Gala Dinner to be held on October 27.

The $3.2 billion casino resort’s owner Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. is also hoping it’ll draw a new kind of thrill-seeker to the world’s biggest gambling hub. In light of the volatile market, uncertain fundamentals (supportive government policy but still mixed data point), and especially after the share price rebound, investors want to see more data points and how Macau Studio City opens before increasing their weighting. Offering a Batplane flight and a high-speed car chase, the simulation adventure is a key attraction in Melco’s hotel and entertainment complex, opening in Macau today. Talking about data points, for the week ended October 25, Macau gaming average daily revenue came in at 586 million Macau pacata, rebounding strong from the previous week’s 486 million. The star chefs are bringing singularly unique culinary delights to Studio City and Macau, catering to the most discerning of epicureans with an eclectic array of fine cuisine, so guests can truly ‘dine like a star’.

Studio City is the latest test of the former Portuguese colony’s ability to attract visitors wanting to play on more than gaming tables and slot machines. Featuring 250 gaming tables, 1,600 hotel rooms and a figure-eight Ferris wheel, Studio City joins new Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. casinos targeting families and tourists, in contrast with the dozens of gambling-focused establishments in Macau. The city’s casino revenue has plunged 36 percent this year, as a widening graft crackdown and slowing economy in China deter the country’s high rollers. “Studio City may be a new growth engine for Melco and Macau’s casino industry as a whole,” said Richard Huang, who tracks casino stocks for Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong. The new project by Hong Kong-based Melco, controlled by billionaires Lawrence Ho and James Packer, “is more devoted to designing the non-gaming facilities.” The complex’s 5,000-seat event center will be the focus of a grand opening show, featuring Grammy winner Mariah Carey, Hong Kong singer Aaron Kwok and South Korean pop group Sistar. Macau currently trades at an average of 13 times. “Ff everyone is waiting for below 10x to buy, it may not come,” lament the Credit Suisse analysts, who are bullish on Macau.

Studio City’s signature Chinese restaurant, ‘Pearl Dragon’ offers a menu showcasing refined provincial Chinese flavors, innovative culinary creations and the finest delicacies to tempt the palate. “Pearl Dragon showcases exquisite Cantonese specialties blended with an innovative modern menu offering the best in quality natural organic and farm-fresh ingredients from around the world,” explained Chef Tam. “We aim not only to satisfy your appetite, but also to cultivate your health and well-being, with a range of Chinese herbal soups specially prepared by professional Chinese herbal practitioners.” With his restaurants awarded a combined total of 19 Michelin stars, Chef Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. But in the longer term, Macau is still in the best geographical location.” Melco is looking for a 20 percent return on its investment in Studio City, he said. Wynn Macau (1128.Hong Kong), a subsidiary of WYNN Resorts (WYNN). fell 3.8%, Galaxy Entertainment (27.Hong Kong) dropped 3.3%, MGM China (2282.Hong Kong), a unit of MGM Resorts (MGM) fell 2.9% and Sands China (1928.Hong Kong), a unit of Las Vegas Sands (LVS), was down 2.1%.

The stunning US$3.2 billion Studio City, Macau’s new cinematically-themed entertainment and leisure destination, delivers a diverse range of world-class restaurants, cafes and relaxed bars and lounges with over 30 food and beverage venues located throughout the property. Ho had wanted Studio City to be an homage to epic Hollywood films, according to Gary Goddard, the North Hollywood, California-based theme-park designer, who helped create the resort. The son of Stanley Ho, the Macau casino kingpin who had held a monopoly on gambling in the city for four decades, initially envisioned a hole in the middle of the attached hotel to resemble a meteor shot through the building.

Riding in metal-clad capsules that holds up to 10 people, Studio City visitors get a bird’s eye view over much of Macau’s Cotai Strip, and over the sea to China’s city of Zhuhai. For further information on Studio City, please visit: www.studiocity-macau.com, follow us on Sina Weibo at www.weibo.com/studiocity, and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/studiocitymacau. An adult Studio City ticket that includes the 15-minute Batman ride, getting on the Ferris wheel, as well as entry to a magic show costs 650 patacas, or $81. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties.

Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Macau “meets most demands of Chinese tourists,” said Linda Li, a Mintel travel analyst, who says the city will do much better if there are sufficient activities and attractions to keep visitors longer than three days. These factors include, but are not limited to, (i) growth of the gaming market and visitation in Macau and the Philippines, (ii) capital and credit market volatility, (iii) local and global economic conditions, (iv) our anticipated growth strategies, and (v) our future business development, results of operations and financial condition.

In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “target”, “aim”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “potential”, “continue”, “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

Macau is experiencing one of its worst downturns, as China’s slowdown and scrutiny of corruption spell the end of the “glory days” that saw an influx of VIP travelers, Fischer said. That’s slashed their contribution to the city’s gaming revenue by 40 percent in the first nine months of 2015 and caused total takings at casinos to fall for the 16th straight month in September. Melco Crown Entertainment’s business also includes the Mocha Clubs (www.mochaclubs.com), which comprise the largest non-casino based operations of electronic gaming machines in Macau. The Company is also developing the planned Studio City (www.studiocity-macau.com), a cinematically-themed integrated entertainment, retail and gaming resort in Cotai, Macau.

The tougher competition and gambling environment mean Studio City may report “quite modest” earnings initially, said Grant Govertsen, an analyst at Union Gaming Group, who also predicts the resort’s location, a 20-minute walk from Macau’s main casino strip, will deter some visitors. Studio City, when it opens on October 27th, is set to take Macau’s entertainment destination proposition to unprecedented new levels, by providing a ‘next generation’ of outstanding entertainment-driven leisure destination experiences that will help the territory’s evolution into a truly international tourism center.

Ideally located on Cotai, close to the Lotus Bridge immigration point connecting Hengqin Island and a future station-point for the Macau Light Rapid Transit, Studio City will deliver more world-class entertainment amenities than any integrated resort in the market. Studio City’s stunning Art Deco facade includes the “Golden Reel”, the highest figure-8 Ferris wheel in Asia which straddles the resort’s two-tower hotel at a height of some 130 meters. The resort’s innovative entertainment offerings include “Studio City Event Center”, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose entertainment center designed to host live concerts, theatrical and sporting events; and “Studio 8”, a 300-seat live-audience TV broadcast studio for reality and game-show productions distributed in the Asia region.

Fun Zone” for kids filled with Warner Bros.’ and DC Comics’ franchise characters and play-rides, together with “Pacha Macau” which will bring Ibiza-style nightlife to Macau. For media enquiry, please contact: Maggie Ma Head of Corporate Communications Tel: +853 8868 3767 or +852 3151 3767 Email: maggiema@melco-crown.com For investment community, please contact: Ross Dunwoody Vice President, Investor Relations Tel: +853 8868 7575 or +852 2598 3689 Email: rossdunwoody@melco-crown.com

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