Lisboeta hotel resort opening could be delayed to 2021

SJM Holdings co-chairman and executive director, Angela Leong On Kei, hinted today that the opening of the Lisboeta property could be delayed to 2021.

Speaking today after an SJM event to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Angela Leong expressed that the property has “basically” obtained all the required government licenses but the gaming operator was considering the overall economic and pandemic environment to assess the best opening time.

The HK$5 billion (US$650 million) Lisboeta Macau was developed by Macau Theme Park and Resort Ltd, a company headed by Arnaldo Ho, Angela’s son with the late tycoon Stanley Ho.

Lisboeta was granted a four-star hotel license by the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), in August, with several of its food & beverage outlets also receiving the necessary licensing.

However, Leong deflected questions on whether the property would also include a casino.

Cumulative gaming revenues for the first nine months of this year decreased by 82.5 per cent year-on-year to some MOP38.6 billion, as the city continued to suffer the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visitor arrivals in the city have dropped by 86 per cent year-on-year to about 3.2 million between January and July and have remained low even after the resumption of the issuing of individual tourist visas for Mainland China residents right before the October Golden Week, with no clear recovery path for the local gaming sector visible yet.

The new resort is expected to include the first urban zipline in the Asia-Pacific, an indoor skydiving enclosure, an art deco-themed cinema with a total of nine theatres, including IMAX, MX4D and VIP theatres by Emperor Cinemas, and an architectural replica of the famous Macau Palace boathouse casino.

In total the property next to Macau East Asian Games Dome is expected to include three hotels with some 820 rooms, the Lisboeta Hotel, the Maison L’occitane Hotel, and a LINE Friends Casa d’Amigo 12 stories tall Y-shaped tower.

When questioned over the opening of the gaming operator’s first integrated resort in Cotai, the Grand Lisboa Palace, Leong expressed that the group’s executive board had held “many meetings and adjusted the relevant strategies” concerning the property but did not confirm an opening date.

Jobseekers that have attended SJM’s recent job fair told Macau News Agency previously that they received indications of a possible Grand Lisboa Palace opening for December 20, with SJM having maintained that property’s opening is expected to open by the end of 2020, subject to obtaining necessary operating permits.

However, when asked if the property would open in the fourth quarter of this year Leong today only expressed that “it’s already October now and we only have two more months left”.

Gaming analysts had previously suggested the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to an opening delay for 2021.

The property will have 90 per cent of its total area dedicated to non-gaming elements, including 1,900 hotel rooms from the Grand Lisboa Palace hotel and two other hotel brands, in partnership with luxury fashion houses Palazzo Versace and Karl Lagerfeld.

In a recorded speech broadcast during the event, SJM’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Daisy Ho stated that the group was committed to developing Grand Lisboa Palace into a “major tourism brand in the Greater Bay Area”.