BIZ BUZZ: Record revenues for Solaire
Time flies when one is having fun. And in the case of Enrique Razon Jr.’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp., time has certainly flown by, even if the last few years were anything but fun for its financial statements, no thanks to the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But it seems that all that bad news is behind it now as the billionaire’s flagship gaming development, Solaire Resort and Casino, will officially celebrate its 10th anniversary tomorrow, March 16.
Thursday marks exactly 10 years since the pioneer integrated resort opened its doors to the public in 2013 in a jam-packed event graced by no less than former President Benigno Aquino III. Back then, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s Entertainment City project was just getting off the ground (or rising from the waters, to be more accurate) and still devoid of buildings.
Today, Entertainment City is a busy place and Solaire is even busier—but even more so over the last few weeks, we hear.
Biz Buzz learned that, after taking a massive financial hit during the pandemic—when everything was shut down for several weeks at a time due to COVID-19 safety protocols— Solaire is now back in the pink of health, financially speaking.
In fact, a ranking source told us that, last January, its casino operations recorded its highest ever monthly tally of P6.8 billion in gross gaming revenues.
“We saw that record even without a significant presence of mainland Chinese gamblers and junket operations,” the official whispered. “All that came from the local market, plus some Korean players based in the Philippines.”
And things are going to get better, it seems. By the first quarter of 2024—after a slight pandemic-caused delay—Razon will inaugurate Solaire Resort North, which is nearing its final stages of construction in Quezon City, right next to Ayala Land’s Vertis North Development.
Meanwhile, to celebrate Solaire’s first decade, management has hired American artist and composer David Foster for a weeklong Las Vegas-style residency later this month, a two-night Sting concert this weekend, and the resort’s various restaurants are all featuring anniversary cuisine.
Time will tell what the next decade will bring.
—Daxim L. Lucas
Marinduque desalination project
What is former National Power Corp. president Guido Delgado up to nowadays?
Well, he is still involved in the energy sector, but is now apparently also in the water business, Biz Buzz has learned.
The particular activity he’s involved in is in Marinduque, where no less than former Supreme Court Justice, now Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr., has cited an upcoming project as designed to ultimately bring an end to his province’s decades-old problem of inadequate potable water supply.
Velasco was referring to a recently concluded bidding and awarding between the Marinduque Water District and Delgado’s Pasig City-based Peak Off-Grid Innovations and Solutions for the setting up of modern facilities designed to deliver some 29,200 cubic meters of drinkable water daily to meet the islanders’ demand for personal, household and irrigation purposes.
The facilities boast an uninterruptible supply of potable water using Finnish desalination technology running on pure solar power.
The awarding ceremony was held last week at the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig, with the governor, along with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Vice Governor Lynn Angeles, and Finnish Ambassador to the Philippines Juha Markus Pyykkö as witnesses.
The governor said the project was “a game changer” for his constituents who had been grappling with acute potable water supply shortage for decades.
The multimillion-peso project involves the construction of distributed desalination facilities that could convert raw seawater into fresh potable water safe for drinking and other household needs, as well as irrigating farmlands.
The project combines solar desalination technologies with freshwater management, efficient storage facilities and tapping rainwater to boost the supply chain.
Incidentally, Biz Buzz hears that Delgado’s silent partner in this deal is a huge conglomerate headquartered not far from the Pasig hotel where the agreement was sealed.
—Daxim L. Lucas INQ
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