News from BusinessWorld Online:
DAVAO CITY — A Malaysian firm is proposing to rehabilitate and resume the operations of a mothballed casino resort in Samal Island.
Cleto B. Gales, Jr., Samal’s city administrator, said local officials met with Ekran Berhad Holdings Chairman Pek Khiing Ting and his son Michael Ting late March in Kota Kinabalu to discuss the company’s plans.
Ekran Berhad plans to link the $300-million Samal Island resort with its other hotels in the region, specifically the one in Kuching, Malaysia, Mr. Gales said.
The meeting was prompted by Ekran Berhad’s growing tax arrears, which has reached P30 million. In the first quarter of the year, the foreign firm sent consultants to the resort to assess its condition.
In 2004, a study by the local government and the Department of Tourism estimated that around P200 million would be needed to revive the resort.
The local government had talked to several groups, including South Korean and American companies, and even the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., but all three did not want to bear the costs.
The 300-room hotel and casino resort opened in December 1997 under an agreement with the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority. The resort, located at the 11,800-hectare Samal Island Tourism Estate Project, had golf-courses, a casino, condominiums, villas, and recreational facilities.
Read more: Businessworld