Sri Lanka – Packer’s plans for Colombo in doubtBy Phil - 13 August 2013
James Packer’s Crown Resorts’ plans to develop an integrated resort in Sri Lanka are believed to be in jeopardy following the operator’s rejection of a government decision to change the building plan of its mixed development at D.R. Wijewardane Mawatha in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Australian operator has subsequently been told that the development must be relocated to another site on the same road. Crown has already invested US$20m on the design of the integrated resort. Crown Chief Executive Rowen Craigie and Chief Financial Officer Ken Barton said Crown, along with Rank Holdings, owned by casino businessman Ravi Wijeratne, had already paid 20 per cent of the money to lease the property with the balance to be paid in three months.
Mr. Packer wants to target Indian and Chinese high-rollers to a 36-storey, integrated casino resort with 400 hotel rooms hotel alongside meeting, convention and facilities. Sources say the project is now in some doubt.
The Sri Lanka government had insisted that the number of floors be reduced. Mr. Packer had agreed to invest US$350m to build the casino palace which will be known as ‘Crown Colombo.’ The plan was to open in 2016.