The cinematic-themed Studio City is Melco Crown’s new bet on non-gaming activities. These days, entertainment for families is considered the trump card to target the mass market and compete with the dominating operator in this segment: Sands China. At the same time the company co-chaired by Lawrence Ho and James Packer expects the integrated resort to increase its capacity for premium mass market gamblers.
Aiming to ‘transport the visitor into a stunning cinematic world’, the building façade will incorporate Asia’s highest ferris wheel at a height of 130 metres. Melco Crown has tentatively named it ‘Golden Eye’, which, connecting two of the towers of the building, will become one of the most iconic of Macau’s landmarks. The figure eight-shaped Ferris wheel was inspired by two asteroids shooting through Gotham City, hometown of the comic hero Batman.
The two towers of Studio City are named Celebrity Tower and Star Tower. The first targets the mass market while the second is more focused on the premium segment. The resort will have approximately 1,600 rooms designed in Art Deco style.
The retail area will include a 300,000 square foot mall named Boulevard at Studio City. The area will be merchandised and managed by Taubman Asia and is expected to have a ‘mix of the hottest fashion labels’, the company said.
Game on for mass market segment
In terms of entertainment facilities, Melco Crown will have seven family-oriented venues, including the ‘Golden Eye’. Studio City Entertainment is a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena that will be managed by Global Spectrum that will host live concerts, theatrical and sports offerings. This is Melco Crown Entertainment’s ‘weapon’ to compete with Sands China and The Venetian in particular.
The Family Entertainment Centre will feature a 30,000 sq. foot space for kids which will have the most famous Warner Bros and DC comic characters. These include Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Batman and Superman.
The collaboration with American studio Warner Bros. has also resulted in the ‘Batman Dark Flight’, a virtual reality experience whereby visitors follow Batman through the streets of Gotham.
The House of Magic will be an area where magic shows organised by the illusionist Franz Harary will be performed.
Lawrence Ho stressed that Studio City will help to promote the image of Macau worldwide and that Studio 8 is a key element in achieving this. This area is a working TV studio that will host TV shows to be broadcast across the Asia region.
Recently, Pacha Nightclub has been Melco Crown’s bet in order to expand its offering in terms of nightlife. The franchise, headquartered in Spain and a fixture of Ibiza, is coming to town, having expanded to cities such as New York, Dubai, Buenos Aires and Sydney.
In addition to the entertainment centres, there will be 30 food and beverage centres, including the Cosmos Food Court, where customers can dine while watching holographic projections of space scenes.
Facts about Studio City
Opening date: 3Q 2015
Project commencement: June 2011
Total cost: US$3.2 billion (MOP25.6 billion)
Design and construction cost: US$2.3 billion (MOP18.4 billion)
Project Ownership: 60 per cent – Melco Crown Entertainment; 40 per cent – New Cotai LLC – controlled by US companies Silver Point Capital LP and Oaktree Capital Management
Gross construction area: 5,000,000 square feet / 463,000 square metres
Number of employees to be hired: 8,000 to 10,000
Number of towers: 2
Number of phases: 2
Gaming tables capacity: 500
Hotel rooms: 1,600
Entertainment venues: 7
Ferris Wheel Height: 130 metres / 426.5 feet (Asia’s highest)
Food and beverage venues: 30
Retail area: 300,000 square feet / 27,871 square metres