Australia – Blackstone to invest heavily in Crown Melbourne and create one of the world’s leading casinosBy Phil - 9 June 2023
The President of Blackstone Jon Gray has said ‘it’s a new day at Crown’ as he pledges to spend big on the Melbourne casino’s rennovation.
Blackstone bought Crown Resorts last year for US$6.5bn with the aim now to turn it back into one of the world’s leading casinos once more.
Talking to The Australian, Mr Gray said: “It’s a new day at Crown. That’s what we want to convey to people – we’re committed to operating this business at the highest standard possible and ultimately, we want tourists to come back in a big way. Crown Melbourne is truly one of a kind, given its scale. Melbourne is a physical turnaround story and our objective would be to invest significant capital there and enhance the asset, which we think will be great for the community and great for tourism there as well.”
Reffering to the Crown portfolio as a whole, he added; “We think these are great tourism assets. And frankly, I think tourism is one of Australia’s great growth engines. Sydney, Melbourne, Perth – these are world-class cities that people want to visit. So isn’t it a good idea to own world-class assets in those cities?”
He added: “We want to be a best-in-class entertainment company and hotel business. We understand that there was a lot that wasn’t done right and we’ve got to come in here and operate at the highest standard, the highest standard from a compliance standpoint, but then make them as attractive as possible to customers.”
He highlighted Blackstone’s turnaround of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which it bought for US$1.7bn in 2014 and sold for US$5.7bn after significant investment in the property.
“If you went back to that (Cosmopolitan) story, it was a company that had been built, foreclosed on and had a number of staff issues and needed capital to complete it. And we went in, we brought in a lot of capital and hardware, but then software in terms of restaurants and entertainment, a great management team.”