[Herald Interview] Mohegan Inspire aims to become post-COVID leisure landmark in Incheon: CEO
[Herald Interview] Mohegan
Inspire aims to become post-COVID leisure landmark in Incheon: CEO
By Byun Hye-jin, The Korea
Herald - Ray Pineault, CEO of Mohegan, the US-based global resort developer,
has shared his vision for Asian expansion, unveiling the company’s ambitious
plan to open a massive resort complex near Incheon International Airport, the
nation’s main gateway, later this year.
“We had already expanded
internationally in North America when we entered into Canada. But the growth of
tourism in Incheon and the amount of visitation that comes to Korea create
tremendous opportunity for us to bring our brand here, to serve the Northeast
Asian market that we think our brand will resonate,” said Pineault during a
recent interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul.
Under a 5.6 trillion won ($4.4
billion) plan, the upcoming resort, called Mohegan Inspire, will be located on
a 4.36-square-kilometer site adjacent to Incheon Airport. With the first-phase
construction complete by the fourth quarter of this year, most of the planned
facilities -- a convention center, a shopping mall, and luxury hotels -- will
be unveiled within the year, with the exception of a casino.
Pineault was visiting Korea
early this month to oversee the construction work and meet local business
“Although there has been a
surge in the prices of construction materials due to the pandemic, we are not
only almost 45 percent done with the phase one construction; but also over 95
percent of the payment has already been out,” Pineault said.
The CEO stressed that Mohegan
Inspire will become Korea’s integrated resort at an unprecedented scale.
“The diversity of amenities as
well as the size of the resort makes it an all-in-one entertainment stop. The
resort features a diverse set of activities including a spectacular water dome,
15,000-seat arena, the largest convention space in the greater Seoul area, fine
dining and retail shopping,” said Pineault.
The resort will open doors to a
broad target ranging from international travelers and Korean visitors looking
for staycations as well as a few-hours stay or a stay-over when you have a
connecting or delayed flight in Incheon Airport.
With its grand unveiling,
Mohegan Inspire also plans to hire more than 3,500 employees, and expects for
direct and indirect employment of approximately 487,000 workers during 30 years
of operation. It aims to create a positive economic effect in the overall
industry and other value-added businesses worth 227 trillion won for the
Reflecting on the past few
years when the COVID-19 battered the hospitality industry, forcing hotels to
shut down, Pineault, however, laid out a rosy outlook for the years to come.
“We are witnessing a strong
rebound in the hospitality business here. Looking at Incheon with the airport,
there’s already increasing in visitation year over year and I think that's
going to continue to expand with the government's commitment to increase
tourism,” he said.