Hanwha E&C to build Incheon resort's 1st phase

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Hanwha E&C to build Incheon resort's 1st phase

Rendering of Inspire Entertainment Resort in Yeongjong Island, Incheon [Hanwha Engineering & Construction]

Rendering of Inspire Entertainment Resort in Yeongjong Island, Incheon [Hanwha Engineering & Construction]

 
Hanwha Engineering & Construction signed an agreement with the Korean subsidiary of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) to build a big casino resort on Yeongjong Island, Incheon after the U.S. resort operator finished financing 1.8 trillion won ($1.5 billion) needed for the first stage of construction.  
 
Measuring 4.3 million square meters (46.3 million square feet) in land area, the Inspire Entertainment Resort is being described as Korea’s largest casino venue. It is supposed to open in 2023 near Incheon International Airport.  
 
The phase one development will cover three five-star hotel buildings, a 15,000-seat multifunction performance hall, a foreigners-only casino, a convention facility, a year-round indoor water park and a large outdoor theme park.  
 
Hanwha E&C Vice Chairman Choi Kwang-ho, fourth from left, pose with Bobby Soper, International President for MGE, fifth from left, to celebrate the signing for building Inspire Entertainment Resort during an event held at The Plaza Hotel, central Seoul, on Tuesday.

Hanwha E&C Vice Chairman Choi Kwang-ho, fourth from left, pose with Bobby Soper, International President for MGE, fifth from left, to celebrate the signing for building Inspire Entertainment Resort during an event held at The Plaza Hotel, central Seoul, on Tuesday.

 
Construction is supposed to take place in four phases, and the builders for the final three stages haven't been chosen. Inspire Integrated Resort, MGE’s wholly-owned Korean subsidiary, will be responsible for operating the site.
 
The massive financing consists of $575 million in equity - combining MGE’s $300 million investment and the $275 million raised through private equity firms Bain Capital and MBK Partners, plus $890 million in project finance loans from Korean financial institutions including KB Securities, NH Investment & Securities and Hana Financial Investment.  
 
The developers expect the venue will benefit from the return of travelers following the coronavirus, although that could be delayed by the emergence of a new variant, Omicron.  
“We anticipate a significant rebound in the tourism and leisure industry following the pandemic, and we look forward to contributing to the Korean economy while at the same time opening and operating a successful, state-of-the-art resort. I’m thrilled to see our international vision [has reached] this important milestone,” said Bobby Soper, International President for MGE.
 
“We will try our best to make [Inspire Entertainment Resort] contribute to improving the economy in Incheon, and revive tourism in Korea,” said Choi Kwang-ho, Vice Chairman at Hanwha Group.  
 
 

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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