Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Macau's Boom (Again)

Paris of the East? Eiffel Tower in front of The Parisian
We made a day trip out to Macau today and it was overwhelming to see a few new resorts opened in Taipa, such as Studio City, Wynn Palace, and The Parisian which officially opens next week.

Across from The Parisian is Studio City
Media who have visited Wynn Palace have posted pictures on social media of its magnificent water fountain out front that's reminiscent of Bellagio, but no where near the same scale. There's also a kitsch floral horse merry-go-round, a cable car ride, and a bizarre show featuring King Kong.

Studio City has a Gotham-esque look from a distance, but up close it's pretty much like any other large-scale casino complex in Macau, complete with a shopping mall, restaurants, and food court for plebeians with a 1920s Hollywood theme. Oh and if you need cash, ICBC or Industrial and Commerce Bank of China has a branch right in the resort.

On the outside The Parisian features a copy of the Eiffel Tower out in front, complete with a French chateau-style building behind it. Workers were still adding finishing touches, and it seemed ironic to see the red, blue and white plastic awning covering the base of the Eiffel Tower.

There are people dining in La Chine in the middle of the tower, serving what I've been told is Chinese food with French influences... But the view must be pretty neat...

A glittering chandelier in Studio City
A few months ago business in Macau was quite dire, but we were told July and August were very busy -- thanks to the very competitive hotel packages focused on families. Some rates were almost half off.

But now that kids are back in school, how will hotels sustain themselves? And there is still yet another resort to open, The 13, as in Louis XIII, the over-the-top complex that has 200 "villas", six fine dining restaurants, a fleet of 30 Rolls-Royce Phantoms, the largest ever single order for the luxury car, and the drivers -- oops chauffeurs -- were even trained by the car manufacturer.

Meanwhile, the Macau government is still building its ferry terminal in Taipa -- 10 years behind schedule. With the Hong Kong-Macau, Zhuhai bridge opening in about a year's time, is a new ferry terminal warranted?

See the reclamation works in the background?
And the roads... Macau used to be a small village and so roundabouts were fine to keep the traffic flowing. But now it's so congested with massive casino buses ferrying people around. The government is building a rapid transit system, but will that alleviate the situation significantly?

Towards the Macau Hong Kong ferry pier, we could see lots of land reclamation works going on and wondered what would be built there.

We'll just have to watch and see...

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