Greek Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said this week that works on the first integrated resort and casino (ICR) in Greece will begin next month at Hellinikon, the country’s former airport property.
The first phase of the project, which includes clearing up the area, tearing down some 900 old buildings and the construction of a casino, two hotels and skyscrapers with offices will be completed in 3.5 years, said Georgiadis, who is expected to inaugurate the works in July.
Georgiadis said the government would be monitoring the progress of the project and solving problems along the way aiming for its completion and advancing the investment.
The integrated resort and casino as well as hotels and skyscrapers are set to be constructed on the yet-to-go-up Hellinikon mega complex, an 8-billion-euro investment to develop Greece’s former Hellinikon airport site along the Athenian Riviera into a multi-purpose hub.
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) the investor who won a highly contested tender for the 30-year licence to operate the casino and resort reiterated last month its commitment to continue with its investment plan despite the coronavirus outbreak.
“We pledge that Inspire Athens will become the number one entertainment destination in Southern Europe,” said Marios Kontomerkos, CEO Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment during the 5th Delphi Economic Forum last week.
Kontomerkos added that the project hinges a final approval. A large team representing the American gaming and entertainment giant is currently in Greece working together with local partner GEK TERNA. “We are ready to move on as soon as we get the green light. We have already done a detailed job to ensure that we start as soon as possible,” he said.
The INSPIRE Athens project is set to include a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention center, shopping, dining, casino, and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities and to create 7,000 jobs.
Kontomerkos said that MGE is aiming to make INSPIRE Athens a top conference destination in Southern Europe.
“Greece has the potential to gain a significant market share in this area, with 19 destinations just two hours away. For the casino, which will be one of our many activities, we seek to attract not only the domestic market, but mainly customers from Central Europe, Russia and the Middle East,” he said.