Japan’s integrated resort (IR) development continues with ups and downs. There is still a long way to go before seeing these three major projects materialize with which some cities hope to attract more tourism.
Nagasaki opened the bidding process to receive proposals (RFP) on january 7 and, as planned, ended three weeks later.
Several operators interested in obtaining the good fortune of the local government participated in the tender.
On the other hand, in Yokohama this process was paralyzed at least while the coronavirus pandemic is eradicated.
RI Nagasaki Planning Department official Masahiko Kunihiro reported last thursday that applications were closing on that day. The process ended with five proposals in total.
At the moment the names of the participants have not been revealed and in the coming months the RI Nagasaki committee will be dedicated to reviewing the submitted applications in detail. The announcement of the winner of the process is scheduled for august, while the completion of the resort is expected in the last years of this decade.
“The public bidding for the Kyushu-Nagasaki IR started on january 7 and the application period that closed at 5 pm on january 28 resulted in five groups spanning the US, Europe and Asia applying.” Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura said in a statement.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the applicants and their partner companies for their applications at a time when the world continues to fight COVID-19,” he added.
“We will continue to follow basic national policy and proceed with a rigorous review for our selection of IR operators,” Nakamura said.
Although Yokohama Prefecture has encountered more public resistance to the IR concept, it insists on maintaining its plans to build the resort and casino complex.
The city is going through troubled times following the impeachment attempts of Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi. However, the local government has budgeted $ 3.43 million for the fiscal year to promote the benefits that building an RI would bring.
During 2020, the city spent $ 3.8 million selling the RI idea, but now the money is going to fight COVID-19.
Last year, it had spent $ 3.8 million to commercialize the idea, but is investing more money to overcome COVID-19. Yokohama has set aside about $ 2.3 billion from its annual budget for the development of various projects, including programs to support small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as social assistance and others.
“The budget proposal places both measures against infectious diseases and economic revitalization as a top priority, and Yokohama will make strong progress towards future growth,” Hayashi explained.
Wynn Resorts as well as Las Vegas Sands were interested from the beginning in participating in the RI Japan project. However, Wynn had not determined which of the three chosen cities would be decided.
First he selected Osaka, but later it preferred to consider the city of Kanto and in parallel that of Yokohama. Although eight months after opening an office in this city it decided to close it.
Reports indicate that Wynn is no longer interested in participating in any integrated resort complex in Japan, leaving the field open to other competitors. Las Vegas Sands, had already decided to retire in may of last year.
Now with the two casino giants on the outside, Galaxy Entertainment Japan, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, Genting Singapore, SHOTOKU and Sega Sammy Holding, they have greater opportunities to be Yokohama partners.