Mohegan Gaming presents its Hellenikon plan with Hard Rock to follow (video)

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Mohegan Gaming presents its Hellenikon plan with Hard Rock to follow (video)MG&E made its presentation titled ‘Inspire Athens’ to the media

ATHENS – Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MG&E) and Hard Rock International (HRI) are “all in” when it comes to the competition to build and operate the IRC (Integrated Resort Casino) at the Hellenikon development. On Tuesday, October 8, led by its Greek-American CEO Markos Kontomerkos, MG&E made its presentation titled ‘Inspire Athens’ to the media at the Hilton Athens.

On Friday, October 4 the two American resort and gaming industry behemoths – thus are they labeled here – submitted their bids to the Hellenic Gaming Commission and the winner is expected to be named by December for a complex that will include a casino, a luxury hotel, and conference and sports centers.

The new New Democracy government has moved swiftly on the Hellenikon project after decades of multi-party delay and the most recent 4 ½ years of stagnation under SYRIZA.

Hard Rock, one of the most globally recognized brands, announced, also on October 8, that “we look forward to conducting a press conference in Athens to share our vision with the people of Greece and the rest of the world once legally authorized to do so by the Hellenic Gaming Commission…Hard Rock is committed to bringing the Company’s tremendous resources to deliver a world-class resort for Hellinikon and the people of Greece.”

While MG&E’s proposal included the Greek firm GEK Terna as its construction partner, according to its press release, “Hard Rock’s proposal was submitted as a single entity, reliant solely on the company’s ability to perform design, construction, operations and procure financing for the project,” based on its experience with venues in 75 countries that already includes a Hard Rock Café in Athens Centre.

SOARING CARYATIDS AND HEAVY HITTERS

Kontomerkos introduced architect Paul Steelman, who explained the design concept illustrated by a video showing a woman drawing one of Athens’ beloved Caryatids, which morphed into a 1 ½ tower complex.

To reinforce its case that MG&E is sensitive to local cultural elements, the company recruited a bi-partisan American team of heavy hitters – former White House Chief of Staff and past RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and former U.S. Senator and past DNC Chairman Christopher Dodd, to share their experience with MG&E’s owner, the Mohegan Native American tribe, and to spotlight their commitment to “giving back to the communities” they build in and their respect for national traditions.

The overall Hellenikon project was spotlighted on Thursday, October 3 at Hellenikon-Argyroupolis City Hall where its importance to Greece and the Athens area was emphasized, both for its economic and psychological multiplier effects, ideas echoed at the Hilton by Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ilias Spirtounias, who told TNH he first wanted to “congratulate the municipalities because this is how investment should be pursued. The investors should contact the local people and explain the benefits of the investment,” and the investors can also ask about the concerns and needs of the community. He was also very pleased that two major American companies were the final candidates and emphasized that it will send a strong positive signal to the international investment community.

Rhode Island State Senator Lou Raptakis was also present, because, as he explained to TNH, “hundreds of Rhode Islanders work at Mohegan. They are a stellar employer to many Rhode Islanders and we have a very good relationship with the company and we want them to grow everywhere, and especially here, where the CEO and I have our roots.”

Kontomerkos, who was visibly moved at times during his presentation, at one point saying he once “wept” over the pain experienced by the people of Greece during the crisis, said, “this is a day of optimism,” emphasizing both the design’s compatibility with the complex’s physical and cultural environs and the “direct, indirect, and induced” creation of up to 7000 jobs.

He added that his company is committed to the project’s “appropriate and complementary execution for the Athens cityscape, to cultural, historic, and environmental sensitivity to the essence of Greece,” and to the creation of a world-class resort and entertainment complex, themes echoed by HRI.

Towards that end, Kontomerkos said he assembled “a world-class Architectural team.”

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

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