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MelcoPBL's Macau Peninsula Project Trinity

MelcoPBL, the operators of the fabulous Crown Macau have dropped some renderings of their Macau peninsula project (code name "Trinity") into one of their investor presentations. I made a point of looking for the location when I was in Macau just to have some sense of what to expect. Since MelcoPBL's Crown Macau gave me a surprise knock out punch, you can add this to the 'must see' list currently occupied by other Melco/PBL properties including City Of Dreams, Wynn Macau (and Cotai) and the aforementioned Crown Macau.

The location is set back from the main Avenida de Amizade strip, but I reckon within 20 years a large percentage of the buildings south of Amizade will probably be blown up and replaced with casino resorts. If you are a big spender looking for a real estate investment... look no further than the Macau peninsula, south of Ave. de Amizade.

Taipa Skyline: Greek Mythology, Crown Macau, Galaxy World (w/cranes)

The "Trinity" project will be located on the southeast corner of Assumpciao Park, near the statue of Kun Iam, with a great view of Taipa on a non-hazy day. StarWorld, Royal Arc, MGM Grand Macau, Sands and Wynn are all within easy walking distance. It is surprising that a location that is seemingly tucked away can be so prime.

Currently, the Trinity Project location is partially occupied by a large office building with a Melco sign up top (see above). I'm not exactly sure when they plan on demolishing this, but it appears to still be in operation. MelcoPBL is still finalizing the acquisition of the land holdings, so one would assume that demo wouldn't begin until early 2008. The Trinity project promises to cater to more of the day tripper market that visits the Macau peninsula. In this way, Melco/PBL is fashioning a two pronged, possibly three pronged strategy to attract customers - day trippers to the peninsula, luxury travelers to Crown Macau and resort trippers to City of Dreams complex. I'll bet the farm that the two properties yet to open will be knockouts as well.

The Trinity Project has been designed by legendary architects Paul Steelman and the Pei Partnership. The building, scheduled to open in late 2010, will consist of two towers, one featuring managed apartments and the other a boutique hotel. The casino will feature 215 gaming tables and 500 machines (that's a lot of machines). The total cost of the project should be US$675M, but, if Crown Macau is any indication of how MelcoPBL rolls, cost estimates will probably increase and opening date may sneak into 2011.

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Macau peninsula will be able to absorb another casino with MGM Grand Macau and Wynn's Diamond Suites expansions coming online in the next few years. I wonder who, of the day tripper market, MelcoPBL's Trinity is going to target. Will they snatch market share from SJM's smaller hotel operations, or the Sands, Wynn, Galaxy and MGM's more upscale operations?

It's somewhat of a given that SJM's former stranglehold on Macau's market share will continue to dwindle, at least all of their properties other than the Lisboas, as the newer concessioners continue to build better product. My gut instinct is that Trinity will end up going head to head with Wynn Resorts and MGM Grand Macau. Galaxy Entertainment's offerings are decidedly more 'Asian' than Wynn, MGM and MelcoPBL's, so I kinda think they'll end up absorbing a bit more of the hardcore Chinese business that isn't inclined to western style gaming. The Chinese players who've experienced Las Vegas style gambling will be divided up between MGM, Wynn and MelcoPBL, with - this is only my guess - the highest level luxury players gravitating to Trinity, the high-mid level to Wynn and the high-low to MGM. MGM and Wynn will probably also attract mid level players and some low level grinders (like me) because the joints are great and fun to gamble at. If Trinity has an achilles heel, it might be a little frou-frou for common folk to gamble at. Bellagio's walkway goes from the Strip right to the casino, but there are invisible barriers that keep Flamingoers from playing over there. Same thing could be said about Trinity, if Crown Macau is any indication as to what it might be like - not that Trinity is in the same league as Bellagio, but in terms of market segment, it very well may be.


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