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Solaire North to open late 2022 or early 2023

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RAZON-LED Bloomberry Resorts Corp. has met delays in the construction of the new Solaire in Quezon City because of the lockdown, but has scheduled its opening by late 2022 or early 2023.

In the company’s online stockholders’ meeting Thursday, Bloomberry Chairman Enrique K. Razon, Jr. said quarantine measures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in a two-month delay in the construction of Solaire North.

“We are continuing with the construction of Solaire North in Quezon City which, given the delay due to the lockdown, should be completed by the end of 2022 or early 2023,” he said. “Construction has partially restarted and the period of lockdown can be reasonably added to the completion date.”

Solaire North would be Bloomberry’s second integrated resort in the Philippines located in a 1.5-hectare property within Vertis North. The 40-storey building aims to capture the gaming market in the north and the nearby provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.

Mr. Razon said opening it in two to three years might coincide well with the country’s full economic recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

Bloomberry’s earnings in the first quarter fell 38% to P1.4 billion due to a decline in global tourism and the suspension of its gaming operations. This reversed the company’s record year in 2019, when it posted a net income growth of 38% to P9.96 billion.

“The record performance of the company in 2019 will no longer reflect our short term future performance. Until the pandemic is over, in one way or another, whether it runs its course or a vaccine is created in mass quantities, when this may happen is simply a wild guess at this point,” Mr. Razon said.

“But even during this crisis, we are still on the lookout for opportunities whose potential and valuation makes sense in this environment,” he added.

Solaire has partially reopened this week and is now testing how it will perform amid the ongoing health crisis. What it did to keep attracting guests is install technologically advanced disinfecting equipment and train employees for new safety standards.

“Given the great uncertainty, we will exercise prudence and restraint in managing our balance sheet and finances, and when this crisis has been overcome, we look forward to being an even stronger company,” Mr. Razon said.

Shares in Bloomberry at the stock exchange went down 20 centavos or 2.67% to P7.30 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez

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