After announcing a brand-new theme park project back in 2013, Genting Malaysia is finally ready to open the new space. SkyWorlds outdoor theme park will begin a soft opening this Tuesday. The goal is to bring more entertainment to the Resorts World Gaming venue located in Genting Highlands. The project has been a long-running effort of the brand as it started an overhaul of the casino many years ago.
Genting Integrated Tourism Plan
Years ago, Genting announced the Genting Integrated Tourism Plan, prepared to spend RM10.38 billion ($2.46 billion) to make major changes at Resorts World Genting. Such changes included adding new hotel rooms, offering more retail and beverage options plus expanding the casino floor.
The investment was set to be MYR5 billion but by 2016, the spending plans were doubled. The revitalization project was centered around SkyWorlds park, an $800 million project that is spread across 26 acres.
The new amusement park has nine themed zones, set to appeal to every visitor. By the time the park is finished, it will offer 26 attractions. According to media reports, a few attractions are not open yet. The remaining rides will open in stages in the future.
The park can house 20,000 guests daily, though the number of patrons allowed at first will be restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, restrictions only allow the park to offer 50% of its total capacity upon opening.
It is expected that the park will help increase visitation to the Genting Highlands property. Pre-COVID, the property saw around 24 million visitors in 2019. Conservative estimates expect the casino to see 26 to 27 million visitors while others expect 30 million in guests in the long term.
Forecasts suggest the park will see a loss due to high depreciation costs. The amount should be around MYR330 million per annum. Yet, the increase in visitor numbers will bring spending to other areas, including the casino floor.
Tickets to the resort park went on sale late last week, with a standard ticket for adults as high as MYR151. Kids can enter the park for MYR128. The standard ticket offers unlimited access to the rides of the park. It is expected that the price of a park ticket will increase once more rides are available.
The park has taken quite some time to come to fruition. In the beginning, Genting Group was working with 20th Century Fox to create the venue. Genting would own and operate the park while Fox would earn a portion of the profits. The company decided to leave the project in 2018 after joining Disney.
The decision caused Genting to file a lawsuit against Fox, with a claim that the entertainment company broke its contract. A countersuit was filed and both parties settled on the matter in 2019.