You should never sell short the Mohegan Sun, for they are ever planning expansion and partnerships. So, maybe it did not work out with Suffolk Downs for a casino in the Boston area or smaller casinos along Connecticut’s borders, co-hosted with Foxwoods. The Northeast will possibly be saturated with gaming options anyway. No, let’s look West and even away from the continental United States. Asia is hopping, and you need a centrally located drawing card – how about South Korea? In the golden gaming world, why not! The notion has a certain je ne sais quoi (something that cannot be adequately described or expressed). But, the concept certainly gets your attention in a world which can have the most unusual alignments and bed fellows (think Queequeg and Ishmael – dramatically different, but ending as close friends).
As the Boston Globe stated on April 22, 2015, the “tribe aims for jet-setters with $1.6 billion casino complex at a South Korean airport”. There have been several US companies which have already figured out quite profitably the Asian advantage. Sheldon Adelson, who runs the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (and is supposedly the eighth wealthiest man in the world) has operations in Singapore and Macau. Steve Wynn, who runs Wynn Resorts, has a property in Macau. Just about everyone in Hospitality is itching to chase and get a toe-hold in that huge Chinese market. Messrs. Wynn and Adelson already have successfully tapped into it, and Mohegan Sun, hardly a reticent player, plans to do the same in South Korea.
As the Globe further noted, “The proposal, made in partnership with the authority that runs the airport, calls for building Korea’s largest casino, with 250 roulette and blackjack tables and 1,500 slot machines. It will compete against others for a single license to be issued by the South Korean government, expected by the end of this year. The Mohegan Sun gambling operation would be at the center of an even larger development, some 800 acres which would include a private jet terminal, a twin-tower luxury hotel with 1,000 rooms, a 20,000-seat arena, an indoor-outdoor amusement park, and nearly 200,000 square feet of retail, food, art, and live entertainment space”.
Egad! But remember it is always location, location, location. Sound the trumpets, for the planned site is Asia central. The Incheon airport serves more than 45 million travelers annually. Captain, let’s take the Gulfstream to South Korea, where I can check-in at the mega hotel, get sweetie-pie a new Prada bag, and hit the gaming floor (in just a few hours).
Admittedly, this is all at the proposal stage, awaiting approval by South Korea. And, you can just imagine the Chinese leadership’s lack of enthusiasm for their wealthy citizens to populate the potential casino and the affiliated businesses at Incheon airport. But, you have to give the Mohegan Sun credit for seeking out new opportunities where their skills in the gaming business will shine!
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog, focusing on anything and everything about customer experience. LRA Worldwide is the leading global provider of Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. For over 30 years, LRA’s innovative brand standards audits, quality assurance inspections, mystery shopping programs, research, and consulting services have helped ensure our clients deliver consistent, memorable, and differentiated experiences to their customers. Many of the world's preeminent global hospitality brands, as well as companies in the gaming, dining, healthcare, sports and entertainment, real estate, retail and travel industries choose LRA to help them measure and improve the customer experience. For more information, visit www.LRAWorldwide.com.
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