As expected, the planning stage of the second phase of the Tigre de Cristal in the Primorsky Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ) outside of Vladivostok, Russia is now underway and will reportedly focus on non-gaming facilities.

The purpose of a recent meeting between the management of the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation (JSC), the government-owned firm responsible for overseeing the IEZ, and Stylianos Tsifetakis, executive director for G1 Entertainment, operator of the casino resort located on Murav’inaya Harbor near Cherepaha Cape, was to discuss the development of entertainment facilities to possibly include a ski resort and golf club, according to Asia Gaming Brief.

During the meeting, Tsifetakis reportedly said that their management “considers the development of the non-gambling sector to be promising and plans to create more entertainment facilities within the second phase.”  Tsifetakis explained that they believe creating more entertainment facilities will not only benefit the gambling zone but the economic and social development of the region in its entirety. “We plan that in summer the draft plan of our new entertainment complex will be finally approved and we will be able to present it to the Primorye authorities,” said Tsifetakis.

According to previous reports, Phase II of the development will see the addition of the 500 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars and meeting space. Reports toward the latter part of last year indicated that the lack of available rooms was hurting the bottom line at Tigre De Cristal.

In the Thursday meeting it was reportedly noted by Tsifetakis that during stage two of the construction, the shopping area will be expanded along with the consideration for site improvements that would allow for sporting events.

Tsifetakis reportedly said, “We are considering the possibility of creating a golf club and a ski resort. These are the kinds of entertainment that will allow you to relax at Primorye all year round. In addition, our new Taiwan shareholder plans to create one of the largest shopping centres in the Far East in the seaside gambling zone. He has already successfully launched the work of nineteen major shopping centres in the territory of mainland China and sees the prospect for the development of this direction in Primorye.”

Influencing the decision to create a major shopping area, according to Tsifetakis, was the potential for demand along with the possibility of adding a duty-free trade zone in the Primorksy Krai region, which would offer tax relief to foreign citizens.

In a filing last week, Summit Ascent said that it expected to open the first stage of Phase II of Tigre de Cristal for operations “in the latter half of 2019”. The Hong Kong-listed firm said at the time it was “in the midst of finalising design and financing options so that we can commence construction,” according to GGRAsia.

Owned by Summit Ascent Holdings Limited, parent company to operator G1 Entertainment,  the Asia-facing Tigre De Cristal opened its $175 million Phase I  in 2015 complete with 121 hotel rooms and suites. Currently, the casino offers sports betting and upwards of 23 regular and VIP tables and 283 video slot machines.

Currently, Tigre De Cristal resort is the sole casino property in operation in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone.