Bloomberry Resort Corporation, a hospitality and gaming operator based in the Philippines announced this week that the Covid-19 pandemic forced it to extend the initial target completion date earlier set for its Quezon City casino project. The new date is now set for two years, i.e. 2023.
Statement from Bloomberry’s Chairman
While speaking at the annual shareholder meeting, Enrique Rason Jr., the Chairman, and CEO of Bloomberry stated that: “The construction of Quenzon City casino resort has faced several delays especially from the long period of lockdown imposed by the Philippine government on Metro Manila last year and another recent restriction to curb the spread of the virus.”
On Thursday, Razon mentioned that in spite of the hard construction conditions: “The company is still keen on delivering a top-quality product come 2023 to meet up with the return of international tourism and travel and a potential robust economic recovery which often comes after a crisis.”
Bloomberry Resorts Corp. operates and manages Solaire Resort and Casino which is one of the numerous integrated casino resorts in Entertainment City, a big multi-purpose compound on Manila’s waterfront. It was in 2016 that Bloomberry Resort Corps made its first announcement about plans to construct the Quenzon City casino resort. A few years later, Bloomberry revealed that it would use the proposed new property to expand the Solaire brand. This implies that when the new resort is opened, it will operate Solaire North and also form part of the larger Vertis North complex in the city.
Company Expects Uneasy Road to Recovery
The originally scheduled completion date for Solaire North was 2022. The project is a 40-story integrated resort that will feature entertainment facilities, beverage outlets, food, hotels, a casino, and lots more. It will seat on a 1.5-hectare landmass inside Vertis North. The ground-breaking of the resort took place in 2019 (summer) but work stopped on the site in the middle of March 2020 when Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines announced the commencement of a program aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly virus.
The program was called the Enhanced Community Quarantine. It mandated people to stay at home and quarantine themselves, so workers could not go to the site. Three months later in June 2020, construction resumed when the quarantine was relaxed following an improvement recorded in the fight against the dangerous virus. Back then, Razon stated that the lockdown period can be added to the project’s completion date.
Besides, this week, the billionaire businessman mentioned that he expects the recovery road for Bloomberry to be rocky. The company was one of those hit by the wave of the pandemic, recording PHP 8.3 billion net loss just last year because its Manila property was closed down for six months. The loss is a deep drop from the PHP 9.9 billion net profit the company recorded in 2019. In 2020, the total revenue for Bloomberry was PHP 22.7 billion, representing a 62 percent drop from PHP 60.4 billion they generated in 2019.
At the moment, Solaire Resort and Casino operates a limited capacity. Bloomberry has also closed down its operation in South Korea. Razon pointed out that the company will be careful with the way they manage balance sheets and operating costs. They plan to achieve this by preparing for the worst scenario including staying in a lengthened pandemic state for the remaining time of the year.