Okada, Cojuangco eye partnership for other projects
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - August 2, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Businessman Antonio O. Cojuangco is back from “retirement” and wants to partner with Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada for other tourism-related projects in the country, including a new airport if the opportunity comes.

Okada, who owns the Okada Museum of Art in Japan, is eyeing a number  of projects in the Philippines that would help boost tourism  and culture in addition to the $2-billion casino and resort of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., said Cojuangco, himself a known art patron.

For instance, he said, Okada wants to put up an opera house in the country and bring to the Philippines his high-end Japanese restaurant brands in Hong Kong.

“He intends to come to the Philippines in other ways. For example, one of his plans is to improve tourism areas so he wants to make sure the major airports are good so if given the chance, he wants to be able to make a good bid for the construction of a modern airport,” Cojuangco said.

Cojuangco, the former chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. among other businesses, said he wants to join Okada in these other projects.

“I’d be happy to (partner him). That’s one of the reasons I partnered with the project because he’s got other ideas. He wants to put up an opera house. I’m into Tanghalang Pilipino. I’m also chairman of Ballet Philippines so an opera house is right up my alley,” he said.

Cojuangco, who calls himself “retired,” believes tourism can be the country’s competitive advantage considering Filipinos’ proficiency in English and hospitality.

Okada and Cojuangco have teamed up for the development of a $2-billion casino and resort complex, the biggest property inside the sprawling 100-hectare Entertainment City of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) in Parañaque.

Tiger Resort, an affiliate of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp., formally announced its partnership with Cojuangco’s All Seasons Hotel and Resort Corp. during the top-off ceremony of its first hotel last week.

Tiger’s casino and resort complex  is envisioned to be a world-class Las Vegas style development with luxurious hotels, classy restaurants, commercial facilities, residences and state of the art pool with real sand beach covered by a huge glass dome.

Tiger Resort is working on finishing the hotel in 2016 or the first quarter of 2017. It will have two towers connected by a sky bridge with each tower having 15 floors, 500 rooms and an amazing view of Manila Bay and of the iconic dancing water fountain and light display within the property that will rival the fountains in Dubai.

Apart from the two hotels, there will be a 30,000 square meter casino with 500 table games and 3,000 slot machines.

Tiger Resort was granted a license in August 2008 to establish and operate a casino at the Entertainment City with a total investment of $2 billion.

ACIRC ALL SEASONS HOTEL AND RESORT CORP BALLET PHILIPPINES BUSINESSMAN ANTONIO O COJUANGCO ENTERTAINMENT CITY ENTERTAINMENT CITY OF THE PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORP HONG KONG OKADA RESORT TIGER RESORT
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