Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment unveils inspiration for Integrated Resort and Casino in Hellinikon, Athens
US-based Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), in partnership with GEK TERNA, on Tuesday unveiled INSPIRE Athens, its concept for the first Integrated Resort and Casino (IRC) in Greece.
MGE is one of the two companies that recently handed in a binding bid to Greece’s gaming commission to build an IRC at the Hellinikon site in southeast Athens.
“It is our hope that INSPIRE Athens would be the catalyst that sparks the entire development of the Hellinikon area into the coveted Athenian Riviera, forever redefining the modern identity of Greece,” MGE Chairman and CEO Mario Kontomerkos said while presenting the IRC’s concept in Athens.
The resort consists of a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention center, shopping, dining, casino, and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities.
The design of the building was created by Steelman Partners, an international architectural firm specializing in IRC design and development. The concept form draws inspiration from the architectural history of Greece, particularly from Athenian sculptures and buildings including the Acropolis and the Caryatids.
“We understood that INSPIRE Athens was meant to symbolize more than an integrated resort,” Kontomerkos said during the presentation.
The Integrated Resort and Casino will include a collection of food, beverage, and retail outlets of internationally-recognized brands as well as domestic favorites that accentuate traditional Greek dining, drinking, and shopping. INSPIRE Athens also intends to be southern Europe’s center for A-list music concerts, theatrical performances, major sporting events, and other arts and cultural activities on a weekly basis.
“We hope we’ll have the opportunity to turn our vision into a reality and further elevate Greece as a must-visit travel destination with this landmark hospitality destination,” Kontomerkos underlined.
INSPIRE Athens expected to boost tourism
With state-of-the-art meeting facilities that is expected to reposition Athens as the preferred MICE destination, a multi-purpose indoor event space, and sprawling resort pools, INSPIRE Athens intends to marry world-class luxury hospitality and ceaseless entertainment in a way that’s never before been seen in the south of Europe.
According to Kontomerkos, if MGE wins the bid, the completion of the Integrated Resort and Casino is expected to increase international arrivals in the Attica region by at least 10 percent and contribute millions of euros annually to both the government and the people of Greece in the form of taxes, infrastructure improvement, and public services.
“I think it is very significant for an iconic project like this to be able to draw from all over – from Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America… Folks from all over the world that want to visit Athens will now have another reason to come,” he told journalists on the sidelines of the presentation.
Kontomerkos is confident that the development will not only help launch a new era of tourism growth and economic prosperity for all of Greece and the entire region, but also boost the country’s image as an investment-friendly destination.
“Many entrepreneurs in the US have a desire to invest in Greece, but for what ever reason in the past, they found reasons not to. I think everybody around the world – not just Greece – is looking at this project right now to see if the government can deliver on its timelines and support the project and if the project will be successful,” he said.
“I can tell you with certainty that if the project succeeds and if the government delivers in its timelines, there will be a flood of investments from others… I think that this is the first drop of the tidal wave, if we do it right,” Kontomerkos stressed.
When asked by GTP Headlines if MGE plans to look for further opportunities to invest in Greece, in the case the company does not win the tender, Kontomerkos stressed that the focus now is only on the current project.
“We have spent an enormous amount of time on this project. We have been working on it since October 2017 and put an enormous amount of preparation into this bid…. I think we have a project that really is – in my view – the best that Greece could get. So beyond that, I can’t look forward. My focus is on the current project,” he said.
If MGE wins the bid, the INSPIRE Athens development is estimated to create more than 7,000 jobs in the region during and after construction, including direct, indirect, and induced.