In a recent interview, Hard Rock Japan President has shared an insight on the company’s plans for an integrated resort bid in Japan.
HRI Still Considers Japan IR Bid
The integrated resort bidding process in Japan has been a hot topic for quite some time now. Keeping in mind the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the following impact, some operators have already withdrawn from the Japanese market. Only recently, Las Vegas Sands announced their withdrawal from Yokohama. Despite the recent events and COVID-19 impact, Hard Rock International announced that they are not quitting the race yet. A recent interview of Inside Asian Gaming (IAD) with HRI Japan President Ado Machida has shed some light on the company’s plans.
The pulling out of operators from Japan’s bid was deemed as “unfortunate” by Machida. He noted that Japan remains a popular tourist location, which also makes the bid a “very attractive one“. Machida pointed out that HRI currently operates in 75 countries with more than 250 venues. According to him, frustrations can easily be sorted by proper collaboration of the industry and local governments.
Unique Experience is A Prime Goal For HRI
In the interview, Machida further commented on the challenges for building a new resort under a new jurisdiction. According to him, companies do have to find the perfect fit for each market. Machida continued by saying that Japan will be a key destination for IRs in the post-COVID-19 world. This is mostly because the country will inevitably look for new ways to appeal to tourists.
The HRI President noted that it is the company’s prime goal to provide unique experience for the Japanese visitors. He did not miss to say that Hard Rock more than 35 years of experience in the country. This experience will be quite beneficial for the company and will undoubtedly help realize their goal, Machida noted. According to Machida some hiccups may be expected along the way. He was referring to the Central Government’s policy on IRs that is yet to be outlined. Machida said, this is not something out of the ordinary, considering the huge impact that COVID-19 had around the globe.
The Post-COVID-19 Integrated Resort in Japan
Commenting on how would the IR industry in Japan look like once the coronavirus (COVID-19) is in the rear view mirror, Machida expressed doubt that: “the world will just go back to normal after this.” According to him, establishing a “new normal” is inevitable. He continued by stressing out that the visitor’s safety and wellbeing must be ensured. Machida also pointed out that the whole gaming industry has suffered from the COVID-19 outbreak and cited Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore as examples of what he meant. However he reassured that HRI continues to work towards building and running an IR in Japan.
Near the interview end, Machida said that the HRI plans for a long term and highly-recognizable IR in Japan. He noted that the company will double its efforts to make sure that the project is completed correctly while at the same time meeting health and safety requirements which may arise due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Although Las Vegas Sands already quit the IR bid for Japan, another major player also showed determination to stay in the race. Back in May, MGM Resorts announced that the company is still going ahead with the IR bid in Osaka.