Jeju Dream Tower anticipates late 2020 opening
Jeju Dream Tower looks like its finally approaching its opening day. The Jeju island foreigner-only casino is now slated to open “before the end of this year.”
Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd. Chief Operating Officer and executive vice president Lawrence Teo confirmed the expected opening to GGRAsia. The project was previously expected to open in October, but Covid-19 caused construction delays. “[Covid-19] affected the sourcing of many different kinds of construction materials from all over the world,” said Teo. “Material sourcing was very difficult during the first half of the year.”
Some staff will start working this month, in preparation for a future launch. Lotte Tour noted that they will still need to gain approval from the government ahead of an opening.
Jeju Dream Tower began construction back in 2016, with its 38 floors set to make it the tallest building on the island of Jeju. Foreign tourists will have the luxury of a Grand Hyatt0branded hotel, leisure facilities, and a “Han-collection” retail space, with products from local designers on sale.
Of course, just as Covid-19 affected the construction phase of the resort, so to will it likely affect it’s revenues once opened. Jeju island has only recorded a total of 59 Covid-19 cases, making it one of the least impacted regions of South Korea, which has 24,239 total cases. But as a foreigner-only casino, Jeju Dream Tower will have to find ways to lure tourists to South Korea, despite all of the risks and headaches traveling brings in 2020.
Foreign nationals visiting South Korea are expected to spend 14 days in quarantine at a government designated facility, at their own expense. While casinos have had to spend much of 2020 closed out of precaution, when they have opened, they’ve only allowed VIP customers in. That mix of closure and restriction has caused a 91% drop in revenue.
On top of that, Jeju Island appeared to be in decline as early as 2019, with visitation declining and a growing saturation of casino projects popping up all over the island. Jeju Dream Tower might be the shiny new destination, but it has its work cut out for it.
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