In the Philippines, the Widus Hotel and Casino Clark has reportedly announced that it intends to spend around $500 million in order to further expand its offerings following the planned September completion of a new five-star hotel.

According to a Friday report from the Manila Standard newspaper, the Luzon venue opened twelve years ago following an initial $4 million investment by the Widus Philippines Incorporated, subsidiary of Widus International Leisure Incorporated, while the latest revelation is set to take the local firm’s total outlay on the integrated casino resort to beyond $1 billion.

Daesik Han, President and Chief Executive Officer for Widus International Leisure Incorporated, reportedly told the newspaper that he was happy to increase his firm’s investment in the Pampanga property situated only about a 90-minute drive north of Manila due to the local government’s ongoing efforts to create a more attractive and efficient business environment.

“The government is building the infrastructure but the private sector should contribute to build some recreational facilities so that this area is not going to be a transit area only,” the South Korean reportedly told the Manila Standard.

The Widus Hotel and Casino Clark is located in the Clark Freeport Zone, which is the site of a former United States Air Force base, and currently offers some 233 hotel rooms alongside a 48,437 sq ft casino featuring 342 slots as well as 54 gaming tables.

The Manila Standard reported that Han’s praise of the local government’s efforts through its Bases Conversion and Development Authority was echoed by Evan McBride, Chief Investment Officer for developer Global Gateway Development Corporation. This firm is responsible for the area’s 437-acre Clark Global City business park that is already over one-quarter occupied with the executive lauding the area’s ‘very transparent business process.’

“For an investor that is first coming in, we can attest to the ease of actually investing and doing business in the [Clark] Freeport Zone versus going somewhere else in the Philippines,” McBride reportedly told the newspaper.

McBride also declared that the last ten years has seen his firm invest, “hundreds and millions of dollars” in the Clark Freeport Zone while calling the area, “a true partnership with the Philippines.”

The Manila Standard cited Noel Manankil, President and Chief Executive Officer for Clark Development Corporation, as revealing that the state-run entity has set aside approximately $38 million to upgrade the area’s roads and improve its mass transit systems and parks this year after spending around $19 million on similar projects in 2017.