Jamaica – Celebration Jamaica set to build Jamaica’s first casinoBy Phil - 17 March 2014
Celebration Jamaica is set to begin construction of Jamaica’s first licensed casino in the next few months.
The company’s founder, Robert Trotta has unveiled plans for his multi-million dollar integrated resort development which will include a casino entertainment complex in the tourism capital of Montego Bay, St. James.
Mr. Trotta, who had in attendance advisors, former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson; Canadian businessman, Dennis Mills, and tourism, hospitality and gaming industry expert, Edward McMullen, said Celebration Jamaica was ready to commence construction as early as this summer.
“We anticipate the final vetting process for the granting of a development order, as prescribed by Section 9 of The Casino Gaming Act, Casino Gaming Regulations 2012 by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, could be as early as this summer,” said Mr. Trotta.
The development order, he said, will facilitate the construction of Celebration Jamaica Hotel and Resort in the second city.
“We have secured three locations for its proposed integrated resort master development and are ready to begin construction at any of these locations,” Mr. Trotta said.
The announcement has been welcomed by Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris who said this was one project he believed to have the trickling effect tourism should be having on the workers employed in the industry.
“I am committing my support in any way possible, and will ensure your dealings with the Council is seamless,” he told the investors.
Conceptualised around the theme ‘Caribbean World Music’, Celebration Jamaica Hotel and Resort is positioned as a 365-day entertainment attraction for both tourists and locals. In addition to the hotel, the first phase of the development encompasses an entertainment complex with a multitude of facilities to include a full-service casino with table gaming and slot machines.
The integrated resort development will consist of several main buildings and structures containing 1,000 hotel rooms under phase one, with further expansion of an additional 1,000 hotel rooms under phase two.
It will also house a state of the art entertainment complex with a 75,000 square-foot casino and sports book; hotel with spectacular lobby lounge overlooking the Caribbean Sea; bars, restaurants, health club, spa and kid’s club, and retail space.
The development will also include a shopping centre complete with its own “Restaurant Row”, secluded beaches, an artisan village, a Caribbean world music entertainment complex and other premier features, potentially including a marina and water complex.
With partners secured, Celebration Jamaica said it is ready to begin construction of the initial 1,000 hotel rooms the moment the order is granted.
“The estimated development cost of US$450m for the first phase will provide more than 2,000 jobs for local Jamaicans and millions of dollars in tax revenue for the Government of Jamaica,” stated the developer.
According to him, Celebration Jamaica’s advisory board is currently appraising proposals for the final selection of casino operator.
“Out of a full set of international highly reputable casino operators, we have several excellent options,” Trotta said. Celebration Jamaica’s board of directors and advisors comprises 10 local and international world class experts in gaming, finance, law, hotel management and operations.
He has named advisors who he said would drive the project towards early success, including Mills, committee chairman; Patterson, senior counsel, and Michael McMorris, hotel finance and operations expert.
Mr. Trotta said: “One of two construction companies has already submitted a bid covering the majority of the construction cost. Financing will be provided by a non-Jamaican financial institution. At the moment we must keep the identity of our partners confidential, but are pleased with their bids which will enable us to move forward swiftly.”