Mohegan Gaming unveils new concept for Athens resort

By William Brown Updated
Mohegan set to operate Greek casino 

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment this week has unveiled its concept for a casino resort as part of a larger project for the transformation of Athens’ former international airport.

The transformation will turn the former airport into a luxury multi-purpose complex, according to Casino News Daily.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission last week closed the call for tenders for operators of the casino portion of the larger Hellinikon resort. The regulator for Greek gaming said that it had received two bids from interested operators, the Mohegan and Florida-based gaming and hospitality group Hard Rock International.

The winning bidder will be announced by the end of November, according to reports by local media.

The Mohegan has branded it’s resort plan INSPIRE Athens. The concept includes a casino with over 120 table games and 1,200 slot machines, a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention centre, retailers, dining outlets, resort pools and “a comprehensive mix of premium amenities.”

The US casino and hospitality operator worked with Las Vegas-based architectural firm, Steelman Partners to create the design of the resort.

Industry leading architect firm has expressed interest

Steelman Partners are considered an “industry-leading architectural firm specialising in the design of innovative, memorable, and revenue-producing projects worldwide.”

The organisation has experience designing casino projects in Macau, Vietnam and the Philippines. They were recently hired to handle NagaCorp’s Naga3 expansion in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

Mohegan Chairman and CEO Mario Kontomerkos said that they “understood that INSPIRE Athens was meant to symbolize more than an integrated resort.”

“It is our hope that INSPIRE Athens would be the catalyst that sparks the entire development of the Hellinikon area into the coveted Athenian Riviera, forever redefining the modern identity of Greece” the organisation’s executive said.

The INSPIRE Athens property will consist of two towers.

Paul Steelman of Steelman Partners said that their “overarching design was meant to be iconic in nature, yet characterise Athens’s historic architecture and rich culture while adopting a new stylistic narrative that inspires the region’s future.”

Mohegan said in presenting its concept that INSPIRE Athens “intends to marry world-class luxury hospitality and ceaseless entertainment in a way that’s never before been seen in the south of Europe.

Greece saw record tourist arrivals in 2018 of 33 million people. Hellenikon is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of tourists to the region every year.

The development is expected to create over 7,000 jobs in the Attica region during and after construction. The property is expected to be completed within 24-36 months with Mr. Kontomerkos stating the organisation intends to get the ball rolling as soon as possible should they be successful in their bid.

The organisation believes the completion of its casino resort is expected to increase international tourism in the Attica region “by at least 10%” and generate millions of euros per year “to both the government and the people of Greece in the form of taxes, infrastructure improvement, and public services.”

Mohegan announced earlier this year that it has partnered Greek contractor GEK Terna to jointly bid for the 30-year gaming license the Hellenic Gaming Commission is set to grant, and build the resort, should they win the casino tender.

The casino resort will be part of a larger complex, the €8 billion Hellinikon. The casino portion of the larger resort will occupy approximately 15,000 square metres of the overall 6,200,000-square-meter area.

The Hellinikon project is backed by Chinese and Gulf investors and set to be built by Greek real estate developer Lamda Development. The development will also include residential areas, luxury hotels, museums, high-end retail areas, sports facilities, office towers, a metropolitan park, and a marina.

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