Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the owner and operator of Solaire Resorts and Casino, said Thursday the target completion of its casino project in Quezon City would be deferred to 2023 because of the pandemic.
Bloomberry chairman and chief executive Enrique Razon Jr. said during the annual stockholders’ meeting the construction of Solaire North in Quezon City suffered from delays amid the lockdown implemented last year and the recent mobility restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Despite tough construction conditions, we look forward to delivering a high-quality product by 2023, in time for a potential strong economic recovery that usually follows a crisis and the return of international travel and tourism,” Razon said.
Solaire North was originally scheduled for completion by 2022. The 40-story integrated hotel and casino sits on a 1.5-hectare lot in Vertis North.
Meanwhile, Razon expects the road to recovery to be a “rocky one”.
“The further easing of quarantine restrictions and the implementation of travel bubbles within the region will be indispensable to our near- term recovery, both of which are dependent on achieving herd immunity against the virus through the inoculation of a large portion of our population,” Razon said.
Bloomberry posted a net loss of P8.3 billion in 2020, a significant turnaround from P9.9-billion net profit in 2019 as Solaire was closed for six months in 2020.
The company managed to re-open at very limited capacity in September, but the recent lockdown affected the company’s gaming operations again this year.
Bloomberry’s consolidated gross gaming revenue reached P22.7 billion in 2020, down by 62 percent from P60.4 billion in 2019.
“Our properties in both the Philippines and South Korea were hit by the pandemic, with the former operating at limited capacity, and the latter still closed as of today,” Razon said.
Non-gaming revenues also declined 55 percent to P3.7 billion from P8.2 billion.
Razon said that despite the financial conditions, the company would maintain prudence in the management of its operating costs and balance sheet by accounting for the worst-case scenario.
“That is, we recognize the possibility of remaining in a prolonged pandemic situation for the rest of this year,” Razon said.
“Our management team is focused on bringing revenue and profit levels back up in spite of the limitations, while remaining conscious of our cash preservation goals. For additional support, we successfully upsized one of our existing credit facilities to make available a P20 billion credit line that will help us outlive the pandemic,” he said.