We're going to be talking about a lot of City of Dreams related stuff in the next few days, for one reason only - we got the scoop from parent company Melco PBL.
As regular readers may recall, they came to us for reasons known only to them. Twice, the Melco PBL people have been generous enough to call me (long distance from HK to LA) to share varying pieces of 'ahead of the curve' information. We're honored to have access to this information, most of which has never been published. As analysis warrants, we're going to call the cards as we see them - good, bad or indifferent. Based on what I've seen in person at Crown and on in the confidential materials they've shared with me, City of Dreams is shaping up to be quite a compelling project.
While it may seem that we're giving Melco PBL a lot of face time here, it's mostly due to having access. If the other companies would belly up to the bar, we'd be discussing their projects with a similar degree of authority and much less conjecture (hint, hint... Galaxy, Wynn, Las Vegas Sands, SJM).
For whatever reason, a lot of these companies (particularly Wynn) prefer to be tighter than a drum when it comes to future plans, something I have no control over. Melco PBL has been relatively transparent with the evolution of City of Dreams, publishing each round of renderings here there and everywhere as the project's vision has evolved, and have extended their information invitation to us.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that MGM Grand Paradise has also been generous with information and time over the last year. After inquiring about a possible hard hat tour of the property while planning my visit, I was contacted by MGM's PR folks who - despite kiboshing the tour due to safety reasons - hooked me up with Lytton Ao, who hosted a two hour meeting at their offices when I was in Macau. He also arranged access to renderings, models and other info about MGM Grand Macau in advance of its opening. With MGM Grand Macau now up and running, phase II construction still being planned and their plans for Cotai under lock and key (I tried to pry stuff out of him on numerous occasions) they don't have too much to talk about right now. Rest assured, we'll be there with the details as soon as they are ready to talk about their Cotai plans and MGM Grand Macau Phase II enhancements.
Hopefully, I've made the point why we're covering Melco PBL's projects as closely as we are. To further clarify our relationship with all of the casino companies, allow me to offer easily digestible bullet points:
1) I am not an investor in any casino company, or anything for that matter. (Unless you count the bajillion hours spent working on the six websites you see linked up at the top of this page.)
2) I have no vested interests in the success (or failure) of any property or company.
3) The purpose of this website is to disseminate information about Macau casino tourism, which is heavily dependent on current, planned and potential projects, deals and business trends.
4) MacauTripping is not a cheerleader for any of the Macau concession holders or any casino company at all. In our eyes, all of these companies are created equal, but what they create is often less so.
Ok that's it. I just wanted to be perfectly clear to folks why we're talking about City of Dreams and other Melco PBL projects. Maintaining our objectivity is paramount to anyone believing anything we have to say, and I was beginning to get the feeling that casual readers might think we're Melco PBL waterboys based on the high degree of detail we've been posting.
I apologize for having to rant a little about this, I trust you understand.