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Multi-purpose Destinations | Spain
The initial response to the
Gran Scala project, from
industry professionals and
the general public alike, is
easily forgivable. But in the
same breath it must be
remembered that approval
isn’t everything. To remain
sustainable, ILD needs to
ensure people visit the
mega-resort for years to
come, and this is no mean
feat considering the
increasingly competitive
global gaming and enter-
tainments market.
Bouvard said the main pull
factor for Gran Scala is that
it will offer an unparalleled
mix. “Las Vegas and Macau
are all casinos, and Orlando
is all theme parks,” he
stated. “Singapore will be
both, but on a small scale.
Gran Scala will, upon com-
pletion, be the only place
where patrons will be
exposed to an offering mix
including 32 casinos, six
major theme parks, 16
medium size theme parks,
dozens of dining outlets,
and more.”While the proof,
as they say, will be in the
pudding, one thing is clear:
ILD is thinking big for a
Momentum gathers for world’s
ultimate leisure venue
t the Gaming Exec- the construction of 32 casinos, “First, we needed space - a lot the gaming and entertainment
utive Summit in 70 hotels, six theme parks and a Plans to develop Gran Scala, the most of space,” Bouvard said. “And industries, as the project will be
Madrid last year, a town of 100,000 inhabitants. Yet
ambitious leisure and entertainment resort
there are few better places than a develop over a 10-year period.
preeminent panel when it was laid bare in front of desert to offer that. Second, we “The support of the Aragon
of lawyers and them, operators and manufactur-
ever conceived, have shifted firmly into
needed an ideal geographic loca- government has been instru-
project managers working in ers from the gaming community
second gear. James Walker discovers why,
tion: Spain is already the number- mental and has helped over-
conjunction with International simply could not believe - or,
Leisure Development laid out perhaps, comprehend - that such
for master developers ILD at least, bigger is
one tourist destination in Europe come a number of administrative
and is very easy to reach. The site and political issues,” he said.“This
their plans to develop an enter- a project would ever get off the
always better.
is also only one hour away from is always most sensitive for a
tainment and gaming metropolis ground. The tension was only both Pyrenean ski resorts and developer. From politicians to
in a remote part of northern heightened when panel Frederic Bouvard, vice-president being dedicated to theme parks, Costa Brava’s sunny beaches. the local population, Gran Scala
Spain. The presentation was members failed to answer key of ILD’s leisure parks division, FECs, sports, entertainment, Another key element is that 20 has been strongly supported.”
crisp; the promotional literature questions surrounding approval, said: “It is important to keep in retail and dining. million people live within a two-
impressive. opening dates, who would be mind that there has never been Yet while it is clear from the hour flight radius.The r egion also
It was somewhat surprising, involved in operating the venues any project development com- Las Vegas model that gaming and offers excellent climatic condi-
therefore, to note the reaction of and, of course, cost. parable to Gran Scala. The magni- non-gaming sectors can be a tions, with rainfalls among the
delegates who laid forth a One year on, however, and it tude of the project translates into lucrative combination, some lowest in Europe. The list goes
barrage of cynical statements seems the naysayers will be the fact that studies have and will observers have questioned ILD’s on.”
and awkward questions sur- proven wrong. Gran Scala has take time. Things are progressing choice of location, arguing that ILD is currently in the process
rounding the viability of the Gran now received final approval and as smoothly as possible, while Sin City is also located in a of finalising its selection of oper-
Scala project. operators are apparently clam- however.” desert, the US gambling mecca ators. The ground-breaking cere-
Of course, many within the ouring to become involved in the Gran Scala has been pegged as was built up over time. Why mony is likely to take place in
industry had already heard the project. a“destination city of leisure for all would people travel to inland 2011, and Gran Scala will be
rumours surrounding the Explaining the panel’s reti- ages”, with around 30 per cent of Spain when the shimmering opened in several stages.
3,000ha site in the desert of Los cence to answer those all-impor- operations relating to casinos Mediterranean coast constantly Bouvard said there will be oppor-
Monegros, which would include tant questions in Madrid last year, and the remaining 70 per cent beckons? tunities for companies spanning Frederic Bouvard
Games World | 15 | October 2009
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