Reports indicate that Tigre de Cristal held a successful soft launch or “test opening” Thursday afternoon near Vladivostok, Russia. Local media outlets were indicating that events would occur between 16:00 and 20:00 hours. GGRAsia is reporting that the doors opened to the public at 6:30pm local time on October 8th. The last known filing from Summit Ascent Holdings noted “late October” for an official opening date. Yesterday Primamedia.ru was reporting November 10th, and now November 12th for that event.
News outlets, celebrities, and over 1,000 club card holders were invited to the premiere. Soft openings are a common practice that casinos use to ensure all systems are “go” after extensive internal testing. The properties often take in a great deal of feedback from their first customers in order to refine their operations. The casino is also reportedly planning a call center and website questionnaire to go along with impressions that guests shared personally with staff.
There is still some confusion over whether the hotel has opened, will open to the public in November, or will also be integrated into operations by a full service test period involving casino employees residing there for a period of time. But more details have emerged, including, that in the 121 key hotel there will be 10 Prime suites, 73 Lux & Junior rooms, and 38 Standard accommodations. Spa and fitness facilities will also be provided as well as several bars and restaurants featuring local and international cuisine.
Tigre de Cristal is the first of four integrated casino resorts that will launch in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ). Other investors include Royal Time Group who are planning a resort to be called “Phoenix” or “Firebird”. No firm schedule has been announced for this property but the entire IEZ is scheduled to be completed in 3 phases with final build-out in 2022. NagaCorp is busy construction their Primorsky Entertainment Resort City, on which ground was broken in May. Some reports indicate that the final working name may become “Seaside” Entertainment Resort City. And finally, Diamond Fortune Holdings, a Russian company is progressing on Selena World Resort & Casino with plans to open the first phase of their development in late 2016 or early 2017.
In addition to Primorsky Krai there are five more special gambling zones authorized for development in Russia.