David Walsh, the owner of the Museum of Old and New Art, otherwise known as MONA, has revealed new details about the expansion proposal of the property. Located in the Hobart area of Tasmania, the plan will include changes that will exceed the proposed price tag of A$75 million for construction.
Walsh would like to add a casino to the property, focusing on attracting high rollers from the Asia-Pacific region. Back in July, it was announced that the property had joined forces with the Federal Group, a gambling operator, to establish a new gambling venue. Then just two months later, Walsh announced that he had decided to reject the gaming deal.
The Federal Group currently holds exclusive rights to poker machine and gambling venues of Tasmania until 2023. In the deal with MONA, there was a provision included that would allow for the gambling company to extend the reach of their exclusive license to 2023.
Aside from offering casino gaming, Walsh also wanted to construct a 160 guest room hotel that would be titled HOtelMOna. The venue would also see the addition of food and beverage, retail, spa and meeting space. A larger library is also included in the plans. For quick transportation for guests to and from the hotel, a Venice-style ferry is to be constructed.
Walsh would also like to see the gallery of the museum extended to provide four works of light by James Turrell. The gallery would be extended 20 meters above the Derwent River after the project is complete. According to the owner of MONA, the expansion would create a bigger building and would cost at least as much as he originally paid to have the venue constructed.
Walsh believes that the extension projects he intends on creating were not solely dependent on the casinos but the gambling activities would help to pay for the additional entertainment construction. MONA is a self-funded establishment and is believed to have a significant contribution to the revitalization of Tasmania.