Macau, China, 15 Jul – The iconic man-made volcano and Tang Dynasty complex at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf (MFW) will be demolished to make way for two hotels, a dinosaur museum, a yacht club and a health club as part of a HK$3 billion first-phase redevelopment of the facility, its director and chief executive officer David Chow Kam Fai said Tuesday.
David Chow announced the revamp during a press conference, stressing that the first phase was scheduled to be completed in two years.
He said he had already submitted the redevelopment plan to the government, which had given a ‘supportive feedback,’ adding he hoped to begin construction of the project’s first phase within the next two months, subject to approval from the government.
We’re satisfied [with the current state of the Fisherman’s Wharf],’ David Chow maintained, adding, ‘We just want to upgrade the facilities.
He also said the financial crisis was the ‘best time’ to make investments, insisting that there were no political reasons behind the project.
According to David Chow, the first phase of the project will start off with a 420-room, 4-star Czech-themed hotel for the mass market, tentatively named Prague Harbour View Hotel, a health club, an amusement arcade for children, an all-weather performance venue, a dinosaur museum, to be followed by the construction of a 200-room, 5-star Middle Eastern-themed hotel – called the Ancient Empire Resort Hotel, to replace the artificial volcano.
‘The volcano is not much use and the fire it spits out pollutes the environment, so we are demolishing it, and we’ll also demolish the Tang Dynasty [complex] to build the 5-star Asian Empire Resort Hotel with the Middle East as its theme’ David Chow said, adding the Tang Dynasty replica building would be re-launched in the project’s second phase.
Although he declined to give further details of the second-phase projects since they were still awaiting government approval, the investment in the second phase would at least amount to an additional HK$8 billion, including a 400,000-square-foot ‘modern convention centre’ for SMEs.
According to David Chow, the first-phase project will create about 1,000 job opportunities.
He said, according to The Macau Post Daily, that he expected a return on investment (ROI) for the whole project to last between five and seven years.
Macau has the condition for investments, the important thing is not to invest too much making a bubble out of it and to look after the mass leisure market,’ David Chow said, adding, ‘We’re not just making it to the stock market, then take the money and leave.’
‘The Fisherman’s Aladdin’s Fort will be replaced by a 100,000-square-foot interactive museum displaying fossils of dinosaurs loaned from a foundation in Beijing , as well as providing education material on fossils, complete with exhibits on dinosaur research’ said The Macau Post Daily.
The project also includes the redevelopment of the Fisherman Wharf ‘s current shopping facilities into European-style retail outlets, as well as new parking facilities for shuttle buses and coaches.
David Chow also plans to broaden the theme park’s culinary range by adding restaurants serving Korean, Hungarian and Indian cuisines.
The children’s amusement arcade currently located at Aladdin’s Fort will be moved to the Fisherman Wharf’s ‘English Building’, and a moveable roof will be built at the Roman Amphitheatre to become an all-weather performance venue, according to the plan announced Tuesday, which also provides for new spa facilities that will replace the current Water World.
Besides, a yacht club is slated to get off the ground by the end of this year to offer berthing space for up to 30 vessels.
The Macau Fisherman’s Wharf – Macau ‘s first theme park – started operating in December 2005. It includes the Rocks Hotel and Babylon Casino that will remain intact.