Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment CEO Mario Kontomerkos has described the evolution of a new kind of integrated resort called the “integrated entertainment resort” after the company announced on Thursday that it had signed a strategic partnership with Paramount Pictures for a theme park at its planned Korean IR, Inspire.
The partnership, coming hot on the heels of a deal with live entertainment company Live Nation Asia to acquire talent, sees Mohegan provided the opportunity to utilize Paramount’s intellectual property in the development of a “large scale” theme park.
Explaining the company’s Korea plans in its fourth quarter fiscal 2018 earnings call overnight, Kontomerkos said the Paramount deal “represents both the converegence and evolution of a new kind of global integrated resort – the integrated entertainment resort – which seamlessly combines and masterplans the traditional IR with highly sought after themed and large scale entertainment.
“This will be the first such development in all of northern Asia and we are confident that it will transform the Incheon area of South Korea into Asia’s next major entertainment destination.
“This is important to Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment for several reasons – Paramount’s globally recognized motion picture library validates and strengthens the prospects for international and domestic visitation to one of the most critical and unique elements of the Inspire project, the theme park, in a market which is one of the top in the world in terms of per capita consumption of themed entertainment.”
Asked about the benefits a Paramount-branded theme park will bring to Inspire, Kontomerkos said, “There is going to be very significant traffic driven to Inspire. If you look at the two major theme parks that are in Korea today that are un-branded, those two are both listed in the top 15 of all theme parks in the world.
“Both have seven to eight million visitors each and neither of them are branded, so we do think that this will have a very signficiant impact from a visitation perspective.”
Although the ownership structure is yet to be determined, Kontomerkos said that Inspire will almost certainly own a stake in the new theme park.
Mohegan is set to break ground on Inspire, located on around 1.7 million square meters of land connected to Incheon Airport near Seoul, in May 2019 with opening scheduled for 2022.
When complete it will include a casino with 150 gaming tables and 700 electronic gaming machines, a 15,000 seat arena, an indoor climate-controlled dome incorporating a pool with rides, dining and retail, a 19,000 square meter conference and convention hall and a hotel with 1,250 rooms.