Korean firm starts upgrade of Subic casino
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT— A Korean firm has started to renovate a group of hotels and a casino here that used to be operated by Legend International Resorts Limited (LIRL).
Armand Arreza, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority administrator, said the hotels, casino and an unfinished facility built by Hong Kong-registered LIRL had been handed over to Philkor Neorex, a Korean firm planning to build the Ocean 9 casino here.
Arreza said the courts had ordered LIRL to vacate the Main Legenda, Grand Legenda and El Centro establishments last month.
With the legal battle out of the way, “we can move to begin operations of our own casino,” said Charles Susung Kim, Philkor Neorex president.
He said the firm will soon start the training of new personnel.
Kim said the renovation and his company’s planned investment in the next five years would make Ocean 9 the top casino facility in Asia.
“[This is an opportunity to create] a beautiful, distinctive business. If you look at Macau, that place was built for game players only. But here in Subic, there is more variety. The focus here is on family and so the establishments that you see around reflect that,” he said.
Aside from the quality of life in Subic, the airport, golf course and various leisure-oriented establishments in the area add up to “make it very attractive to foreign guests who will come from different countries, especially Korea,” he said.
A hurdle that his company needs to overcome, Kim said, is the shortage of qualified workers here. He said the service orientation of Koreans and the infrastructure of Subic are a good combination. He said a training program for Filipino workers will be in place to achieve this.
He said about 4,000 workers will be hired by Philkor Neorex for the renovation, construction and operation of Ocean 9’s hotels and casino. By Robert Gonzaga Inquirer Central Luzon Desk