Melco Resorts & Entertainment has pulled back from plans to develop an integrated resort (IR) in Yokohama, Japan, the company announced yesterday.
Melco, which runs a number of resorts in Macao including Morpheus, City of Dreams, Altira and Studio City, had invested considerable amounts of time and money in the Yokohama project, which it saw as the ideal location to expand its operations.
“For the past several years, we have worked with our partners to devise a superlative, world-class IR proposal that reflects the unique characteristics and culture of Yokohama and which would put the city on the global stage of tourism,” said Lawrence Ho, Melco’s chairman and CEO.
“Our proposal was focused on the Asian premium segment, our devotion to quality and craftsmanship, and our dedication to creating a world-class entertainment destination. We designed this resort in a way that reflected Melco’s focus on quality, demonstrating a respectful approach to partnership, developing the most advanced protection measures in the world, and with stringent ethical business conduct during the process.”
However local sentiment was set against any such development, and the project ground to a halt.
“Unfortunately, the citizens of Yokohama have decided otherwise, and the mayoral election results give a clear verdict,” added Ho.
“The new mayor, having campaigned on an anti-IR platform, has now closed the door on the process we engaged in with our partners. While we are disappointed, we are grateful for the friendships that we have formed throughout the process and express our sincere gratitude to the people and government of Yokohama, as well as our business and community partners, for their tremendous support.
“Melco has been working on the ground in Japan for over a decade. We firmly believe in the country’s long-term potential and remain committed to exploring opportunities to develop the world’s best integrated resort in Japan. We will be closing our Yokohama office while maintaining a representative office in Tokyo.”