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Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), master developer of awe-inspiring integrated resorts (IR) today has announced the successful closing of financing to develop the INSPIRE Entertainment Resort on Yeongjong Island in Incheon, South Korea.
The aggregate funding of $1.55 billion will be used in Phase 1 of development for the impressive IR. The project is set to open its doors in 2023 to world travellers and gaming enthusiasts, generating an anticipated spike in visitation to the region and a revival of the South Korean tourism industry following COVID-19.
“We have a proven track record in developing and operating leading integrated entertainment resorts in North America with our successes in Connecticut, Las Vegas and Niagara Falls, and we look forward to taking this success abroad as the first American IR launched in Korea,” said James Gessner Jr., Chairman of The Mohegan Tribe and MGE Management Board.
INSPIRE Integrated Resort Co., Ltd. (INSPIRE), MGE’s wholly-owned Korean subsidiary, now has in place the funding needed for the completion of construction of the project, which includes a total of $575 million in equity combining MGE’s $300 million investment and the $275 million raised through global private equity firms, Bain Capital and MBK Partners, and 1.04 trillion Korean won project finance loan (approximately $890 million U.S. dollar equivalent) raised through a three-bank Korean consortium including KB Securities, NH Investment & Securities and Hana Financial Investment, with the participation of Korean financial institutions and with Kookmin Bank Co., Ltd. as facility agent to the loan. Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp. is the General Contractor for the project, which has provided a completion guarantee as well as a subordinated investment to the project in the amount of 100 billion Korean won (approximately $85.5 million U.S. dollar equivalent). Hanwha Hotel and Resort Co., Ltd. is also participating as a strategic partner of the project and as the hotel operator.
“We anticipate a significant rebound in the tourism and leisure industry following the pandemic, and we look forward to contributing to the Korean economy while at the same time opening and operating a successful, state-of-the-art resort. I’m thrilled to see our international vision for IR development reach this important milestone,” said Bobby Soper, International President for MGE.
The development of the INSPIRE Entertainment Resort is underway within the IBC-III region of the Incheon International Airport, Yeongjong District, Incheon Free Economic Zone, with the current construction completion progress at approximately 12%. Targeted to open in 2023, INSPIRE Entertainment Resort will be the largest IR in Northeast Asia once completed.
The Phase 1 resort development includes three 5-star hotel towers, a 15,000-seat multifunctional professional performance arena, a foreigners-only casino, the largest convention facility in the Seoul metropolitan area, a world-class retail offering, a year-round indoor water dome experience and a large outdoor thematic space, known as the “Family Park.”
With the successful completion of the funding for this first phase, INSPIRE is now accelerating towards its opening date in 2023.