Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd, the parent company of local casino operator NagaWorld Ltd, on November 15 announced plans to develop a $350 million non-gaming integrated resort (IR) in Siem Reap province.
The industry term IR is used to describe a large-scale resort complex that comprise tourism and conference amenities and often feature casinos and other gaming facilities.
Provisionally called Angkor Lake of Wonder (ALOW), the IR will be built with a 50-year lease on 75ha about 500m south of the “outer restricted zone of the world-famous Angkor Wat”, NagaCorp said.
Scheduled to be completed by 2025, its blueprints are currently being prepared by two US-based architectural firms Steelman Partners LLC and Gensler and Associates International Ltd, it said.
It added that ALOW will comprise hotels, a water theme park, an indoor hi-tech theme park, a non-motorised boating canal system, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities, cultural attractions, a food street and more.
Master planning is based on the concept of generating as much fun and play as possible in the IR, it said, adding that development will focus on incorporating elements of, inter alia, technology, edutainment, ecology and culture.
It unveiled plans for a road linking AWOL with Angkor Wat, in what it said was “to promote the concept of NagaWorld and Angkor Wat as the twin tourism icons of Cambodia”.
Siem Reap Provincial Administration director Sun Chamnan pointed out that AWOL would be located in Siem Reap town’s Slakram commune.
He said: “The investment is in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s master plan to entice more tourists to Siem Reap province. We will tally up a new tourism destination – a man-made cultural resort to enthral tourists and keep them here longer.”
Tourism ministry spokesman Top Sopheak welcomed and voiced his support for the project, hoping it would do its share in propping up Cambodia’s tourism sector.
He said: “As is the tenet of the government, as well as the Ministry of Tourism, we support all investments that are consistent with the law, and tourism-related ones have certainly contributed to economic development and created jobs for our people at the grassroots level.
“Once construction is complete and the relevant business registration forms have been successfully filed with the Ministry of Commerce and the General Department of Taxation, the company must apply for a licence from the Ministry of Tourism before operating hotels or other tourism-related services.
NagaCorp owns Phnom Penh’s only licensed casino, NagaWorld, and is currently developing its $4 billion Naga 3 project on the site of the former “White Building” in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune.
It posted just over $20.6 million in net profit for the first half of this year, plunging 91.6 per cent year-on-year. Revenue tumbled 57.7 per cent year-on-year to $377.5 million.
On the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, NagaCorp’s (3918:HK) share price gained HK$0.18 (2.3 US cents) or 1.83 per cent to close at HK$10.00 (US$1.30) on November 17 for a market capitalisation of HK$43.41 billion, with 4.49 million shares traded.