Hard Rock hotel-casino complex at a standstill after judge nulls urban plans
Local mayors urge government to assist with modifying plan to allow recreational tourist center project to resume
Local mayors urge government to assist with modifying plan to allow recreational tourist center project to resume
Ferrari Land, Europe's first theme park in Europe entirely dedicated to the Ferrari, will open its doors this Friday. Located next to Port Aventura, in Vila-Seca, a town in the southern Catalan region of Tarragona, Ferrari Land represents a €100 million investment, occupies 70,000 m2, and includes 11 rides and attractions. The most popular is the ‘Red Force’, Europe’s largest and fastest roller-coaster. In fact, it is a vertical accelerator which goes from 0 to 180 km/h in five seconds, simulating the acceleration of a Formula 1 race car. More than 250 media from all over the world attended the inauguration this Thursday, including Ferrari’s founder son, Pietro Ferrari. With this new attraction, Port Aventura World, which includes Port Aventura and the adjacent Caribbean World water park, is set to boost the Vila-Seca area and turn Port Aventura World into a leading family destination.
The Recreational and Tourist Centre of Vila-seca and Salou, the project which was originally named ‘BCN World’, will start to be built in summer 2017. The resort will be located between these two villages – Vila-seca and Salou – on the Costa Daurada, near PortAventura theme park. After numerous reorganisations and changes in the legislation, the project’s hotel surface area will decrease by 29.2% in comparison with the urban plan approved in 2015. The surface area designated for gambling and amusement activities will ultimately be 30,000 m2 instead of 60,000 m2. The surface area for commercial use and that designated for theatres and congresses has been kept the same. Thus, the total surface area of the project will be 750,000 m2 rather than 1,000,000m2. The project is expected to receive €2,500 million in private investment and will generate 10,000 jobs when fully operational.
Veremonte has walked out on the BCN World project, the largest holiday resort in Europe based in the Costa Daurada, near Tarragona, as first announced by the Catalan Business Minister, Felip Puig, on Thursday and later confirmed by the company itself. However, Puig has assured that this will not impede the project's continuation as companies such as Melco, Hard Rock, Grup Peralada and Value Retail remain committed to it. Veremonte did not provide any further details about its decision. The investment company was initially leading the initiative and had reached an agreement with La Caixa bank to buy 500 hectares of land in 2012. However, it missed the final deadline last December to do so and the Catalan Government had to jump in to guarantee the project's continuation, reaching an agreement with La Caixa for the land. However, Veremonte was still linked to the initiative through the casino licences' tender, which it bidding for in partnership with Hard Rock and Melco.
PortAventura announced it will start the construction of the amusement area devoted to Ferrari in May, with the objective of finishing work around a year-and-half later. FerrariLand will be part of PortAventura and will also be the first theme park of the Italian car brand in Europe, adding to the park it has in Abu Dhabi. It will be built in Salou, located in Catalonia’s Costa Daurada, near Tarragona and Reus. The new area will come after a €100 million investment. In addition, in the coming months it should be confirmed whether the $6 billion BCN World resort, with Las Vegas-style hotels and casinos, but also with theatres and conference centres, is to be developed in the area. PortAventura also announced it is about to unveil its first 5-star hotel, coinciding with the theme park’s 20th anniversary.
‘Lucy’s Mansion’, an independent building inside the Gold River Hotel at the amusement park PortAventura in Tarragona, will be adapted into a five-star hotel. PortAventura will be twenty years old this season and the theme park wants to celebrate it by moving into the highest level. The new hotel will be inaugurated on 2nd April with twenty-eight deluxe rooms and two suites. At the same time, PortAventura will build a new building inside the Gold River Hotel named ‘Callaghan’. This new four-star hotel will be the biggest establishment of the park with seventy-eight rooms and will be inaugurated on 1st June. The development of the hotel complex confirms the strategy of PortAventura to consolidate its position as the best familiar leisure destination in Europe.
The Catalan Government presented this week a first draft of the urban plan that is developing for the 800 hectares surrounding PortAventura theme park, in the Costa Daurada, near Tarragona. The $6 billion holiday resort BCN World is supposed to be built in this area, which is now being promoted by the Catalan Executive itself after the private investor Veremonte did not meet the final deadline for buying the land in December. The urban plan foresees towers of 20 to 25 floors and the construction of 500,000 square metres of tourist and residential-use areas between the Las Vegas style casinos and the beach. Veremonte and its partners Melco, Hard Rock, Caesar’s Entertainment, Melià and Value Retail continue to be involved in the project, along with other investors such as Investindusrial (which owns PortAventura), Ferrari (which wants to build its first European theme park there) and Perelada (which owns other casinos and luxury hotels in Catalonia).
The Catalan Government is now managing the sale of the 150 hectares owned by La Caixa on which the BCN World holiday resort should build its 6 macro-casinos. On Thursday the bank and the Catalan Executive signed the agreement, which comes the day after the private investor Veremonte announced it was postponing the land purchase once again. Veremonte had an exclusivity agreement to buy 500 hectares of land before December 10 at midnight for €380 million, but it postponed the purchase because the urban planning details were still unknown. However, the core of BCN World's project, which is the 6 Las Vegas style hotels and casinos as well as a luxury shopping mall, only takes up 150 hectares. The Catalan Government decided to jump in to strengthen the project and guarantee that the main plots will be available for private investors to build the casinos. It will manage the sale for the next 18 months, while the definitive and detailed urban planning for the area should be approved in July 2015. The other hectares will be directly sold by La Caixa.
Veremonte has decided not to buy the land to build the macro-casino and holiday resort yet and it will wait until it has a better knowledge of the town-planning project's details, which are currently being defined by the public authorities. The main company behind the holiday resort had an exclusivity right to purchase some 500 hectares of land from a Caixabank's subsidiary until December 10 at midnight for €380 million. Veremonte has confirmed it will continue to work on the $6 billion BCN World project with Hard Rock, Melco, Value Retail, Melià and Caesars Entertainment and it could buy the land at a later stage. After knowing about Veremonte's decision, the Catalan Government announced it had reached an agreement with Caixabank to manage the purchase of 150 hectares of land during 18 months at no cost, allowing other companies to buy some plots. They have also confirmed that the project will carry on, "with or without Veremonte". The first version of the town-planning project should be issued in later January and the definitive version should be approved during the summer months, in order to allow construction as from autumn 2015.
Cirque du Soleil will be performing in PortAventura at least until 2020, the popular family resort and theme park on the Costa Daurada (Catalan for the Golden Coast) in Tarragona, southern Catalonia. The five-year partnership was announced this week, after last season’s success. The internationally renowned Canadian performance troop made their debut at the Catalan theme-park last summer, with their show ´Koozo´ in July and August. Following its success they decided to base their summer productions there until 2020. In 2015 they will perform ´Amaluna´, a show that combines a coming-of-age tale with a love story. The show will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the theme park, one of the most popular family destinations in Europe.
Cirque du Soleil and PortAventura theme park have announced that they are pleased with the success of the show 'Kooza', which the Canadian circus company has been performing at the Catalan resort every day this summer, and will consider future collaborations together. PortAventura was the first resort in Europe to host a show from this world-famous entertainment company. From July the 11th this year up until last Saturday, more than 100,000 people attended the show performed by Cirque du Soleil. As a result of this success, the two companies have agreed to meet again soon to talk about future collaborations. For PortAventura, with nearly 4 million attendees per year, this cooperation is a step towards consolidating its overriding strategy of attracting more international brands and consolidating its position as one of the best family entertainment destinations in Europe.
The Catalan Government has issued a provisional list of the companies that might be granted a license to build and run one of the 6 mega-casinos of the $6 billion BCN World resort to be developed next to Port-Aventura theme park. The surprises are that Catalonia-based Grup Peralada -which runs casinos, luxury hotels, an international performing arts festival and vineyards- is one of the contenders and that the offer with Caesars Entertainment has not been initially accepted. Veremonte, which promotes the entire BCN World project, announced that it had initially presented a total of 3 offers to get 3 casino licenses in association with Melco, Hard Rock and Caesars Entertainment. In addition, there were two non-disclosed additional bids: one from Grup Peralada and one presented by Melco by itself. The Veremonte-Hard Rock and Veremonte-Melco offers have also been pre-accepted, but a third offer from Veremonte and Caesars would be out of the tender, although an appeal might be filed.
The Catalan Government issued last Friday the public tender for granting licenses to build six mega-casino hotels in the Costa Daurada, next to PortAventura amusement park. These 6 Las Vegas-style recreational centres are the main part of BCN World, a $6 billion project that will create the largest holiday resort in Europe. The main promoter of the project, Veremonte, announced on Friday they will be presenting an offer for each of the six hotel and casino licenses in partnership with international investors, such as Chinese casino giant Melco and US multinational Hard Rock. Veremonte also added they have “everything ready” to launch construction. All candidates must submit a minimum initial investment of €300 million, as well as a business plan to prevent money laundering. The tender will have 2 eliminatory phases and bids have to be presented before 25July.