Greece's New Integrated Resort Moves Forward After Concession Approval - Newstbt.com
An agreement has been signed, allowing Greece to proceed with plans to create an integrated resort (IR) in the Mediterranean nation. This marks a new beginning for the project, which is sure to bring much revival to the country.
On Wednesday, the Greek Finance Ministry announced the signing of a crucial concession agreement with Gek Terna and a consortium of companies, paving the way for the development and management of Ellinikon’s first integrated resort (IR), potentially transforming Athens’ skyline in a few years. The 30-year license was signed by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on behalf of the government to Athens IRC, consisting of MGGR LLC and MGE Hellinikon BV. The project includes the construction of a 5-star hotel with 3,450 beds, a conference and exhibition center, as well as a complex capable of hosting 10,500 people for sports and cultural events. Despite this substantial progress, the IR is still a few years out from completion. (Image: Greek Travel Pages)
IR Still Years Out
Gek Terna has taken over the €1.1-billion (US$1.17 billion) INSPIRE Athens resort project after US gaming giant Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) withdrew. Gek Terna had originally held 35% of the bidding consortium’s stake, and then purchased all shares and appointed a new board. They have partnered with Hard Rock International to manage and operate the casino, as Hard Rock is set to take a 51% share in the Gek Terna-led consortium. The consortium will present revised plans for the investment, and, upon commencement of construction, it is estimated the project will take at least 36 months. Expectations are for the INSPIRE Athens resort to boost tourism to Athens and Attica, as well as to increase state coffers by 10% and create thousands of jobs.
Gek Terna Chairman and CEO, George Peristeris, revealed the company’s plans to embark on a “tourist and entertainment development project” involving a casino, a luxury hotel, and great entertainment spots in addition to stores, eateries, and other desirable amenities. He added that the casino scheme could dramatically bolster Athens’ reputation among global travelers and potentially kick-start growth in the affected area. This project is expected to generate thousands of jobs and a lucrative revenue stream for Greece’s government, while utilising local talent to achieve local objectives.
Using Local Talent for Local Projects
Peristeris emphasized the need for Greek businesses to be involved in major initiatives. He said this is “essential” for Greek firms to take part in large-scale investments which could be a risk to the business. While he didn’t refuse outside investments, he did explain that Greek companies have an advantage as they are able to provide more help during challenging times, and could represent the country’s “prosperity” better. This news helped Gek Terna’s stocks to go up by 3% on the Athens Exchange, nearing the level of €10.50 (US$11.18) it had not reached in the last 15 years. This rise was predominantly caused by the speculation about how the deals will be handled. In addition, it is also because of another considerable agreement in the works, wherein Macquarie Group in Australia would be taking Terna Energy’s shares.
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