The Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) has announced an extension of the bidding deadline until September 2, 2024, for the sale of properties linked to the future casino in Carmelo in Colonia, Uruguay. This decision is contingent upon the completion and launch of a luxury hotel with a casino concession.

Deadline extension: reasons and considerations:

Initially slated for this week, the opening of bids has been pushed back to accommodate increased interest from potential investors. Remo Monzeglio, Deputy Secretary of Mintur, explained to local daily El País that the postponement was prompted by “many inquiries” from various investor groups.

Furthermore, the absence of bids by May 15, despite the opportunity for interested parties to purchase bidding documents, led Mintur to provide a “reasonable period” extension. Monzeglio clarified that while the extension does not guarantee additional bids, it ensures that interested groups have ample time to develop their proposals.

Monzeglio revealed that several Argentine groups have expressed interest, with at least two showing strong enthusiasm. Additionally, an American group has demonstrated interest, albeit with less certainty regarding their participation.

Earlier discussions with four groups of Argentine entrepreneurs indicated a keen interest in acquiring the former Casino Hotel Carmelo. Two of these groups expressed a desire to purchase the property from Mintur and proceed with its conversion into a five-star hotel.

Project scope and timeline:

In April, the Ministry of Tourism of Uruguay initiated the call for the sale of properties, contingent upon the construction and operation of a luxury hotel with a casino concession in Carmelo. The casino gaming license will be granted for a 20-year term, signaling a significant opportunity for investors in the region.

As developments unfold, Mintur remains vigilant in ensuring a transparent and competitive bidding process, facilitating the revitalization of the Carmelo region and bolstering tourism prospects in Uruguay. With the extended deadline, Mintur aims to foster increased investor engagement and robust proposals for the development of this prominent tourist destination, according to El Pais.

The sale of properties linked to the future casino presents a unique opportunity for economic growth and community development in Carmelo and the broader Colonia department. The establishment of a luxury hotel and casino complex has the potential to attract both domestic and international visitors, stimulating local businesses and generating employment opportunities.

Moreover, the infusion of investment into infrastructure and tourism facilities can enhance the overall appeal of Carmelo as a tourist destination, contributing to the region’s long-term sustainability and prosperity. Mintur’s commitment to fostering responsible development aligns with the government’s broader objectives of promoting inclusive growth and enhancing the quality of life for residents.

Mintur recognizes the importance of stakeholder engagement and public participation in the decision-making process. As such, the ministry remains open to feedback and input from local residents, business owners, and other key stakeholders throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Through transparent communication and collaborative partnerships, Mintur seeks to build trust and consensus within the community, ensuring that the development of the casino property aligns with the needs and aspirations of Carmelo’s residents. By fostering a sense of ownership and inclusivity, Mintur aims to create a sustainable and vibrant tourism ecosystem that benefits all stakeholders involved.

Mintur’s decision to extend the bidding deadline for the sale of Carmelo’s casino properties reflects a commitment to fostering sustainable development and economic prosperity in Uruguay. By attracting investment and promoting tourism infrastructure, Mintur aims to position Carmelo as a premier tourist destination while generating tangible benefits for local communities.