The Philippines’ largest integrated resort property, Okada Manila, will offer a soft launch and preview on December 21 with $2.4 billion invested so far in the anticipated $5 billion, 44-hactare (over 100 acre) project, which will open in phases. The Grand Opening is expected sometime in the first quarter of 2017, with March being the current target date.
The ‘preview’ or soft opening of Phase I will host a Christmas concert with performances by top-rated Filipino artists including Bamboo, Lani Misalucha, and Regine Velasquez. The concert is being presented free of charge and open to the public. Free shuttle service will be provided from the Mall of Asia for all who wish to experience the preview events.
Visitors can expect to witness a phenomenal pyrotechnics display in concert with a spectacular laser light show display that should be visible from as far away as Quezon City. The fireworks and light show will be the first of its kind to occur in Manila. On the ground, expect to see the largest dancing fountain in the Philippines at 37,464 sqm (over 400,000 sq ft), second in the world in scope and size only to the Dubai Fountain in Burj Khalifa lake – also created by WET Design architects of Sun Valley, California.
The Fountain, as it is simply called, is as expansive as 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools, making it larger than the WET Design fountain at Bellagio Las Vegas which holds 22 million gallons of water.
Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. is the license holder and operator for the new iconic integrated resort complex in Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Paranaque. Okada Manila will be the third integrated resort to open in the special gambling zone following Bloomberry’s Solaire opening on March 16, 2013 and Melco Crown’s City of Dreams Manila which opened with a soft launch on December 14, 2014.
With the December 21 opening ‘preview’, Okada Manila, formerly known by the working name Manila Bay Resorts, will be in compliance with an agreement crafted by Pagcor after missing an earlier deadline of March 15 due to complications arising from a cap on foreign land ownership. That obstacle was overcome when Tiger Resorts teamed up with Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco for the project in late July, after Kazuo Okada forfeited a PHP100 million (US$2.2 million) guarantee payment in May 2015 for missing the earlier deadline.
Okada Manila will feature two five-star luxury hotel wings with a combined 993 rooms. Each room either faces The Fountain or Manila Bay so there’s not a bad room in the house. The casino floor will span some 26,000 sqm (nearly 300,000 sq ft) and provide as many as 500 gaming tables and 3,000 electronic game machines. At full build out there will be over 20 food and beverage outlets featuring international cuisine from quick eats to fine dining.
Visitors can also expect to see a 90,000 sq ft night club and beach club entertainment complex with real sand indoors, an 8,409 square-meter retail promenade, and a world-class spa among other amenities for the Grand Opening in March.