“The city has been asked by Beijing to diversify its offerings and rethink its positioning as a world centre of tourism and leisure. It’s no longer just a gaming destination," says Pansy Ho. "We approached the opening of MGM Cotai with that perspective in mind. We looked at creating a destination—somewhere you don’t come to just once, but time and time again. But also a place for local residents to come and see top-production performances and museum-worthy art pieces.”
Five years in the making, the HK$27 billion development is a sight to behold. With four million square feet of floor space, it accommodates 300,000sqft of casino facilities, 1,390 guest rooms, and a pillar-free grand ballroom able to entertain 1,000 people. But the development, which opened in February, is so much more than its technical specifications.
Art for all
Pansy has invested massively in MGM Cotai's cultural outreach, a first for a venture of this kind. Her initiatives include establishing an extensive permanent art collection for display throughout the resort’s public spaces and guest rooms, and incorporating “Asia’s first dynamic theatre,” a multipurpose venue that boasts Hollywood-worthy entertainment technology, including the world’s largest indoor permanent LED backdrop, moveable screens and resident shows.
Art has always been close to Pansy’s heart. She is the driving force behind MGM Art Space, the art gallery at MGM Cotai (her first joint venture with New York-listed MGM Resorts International), which has shown works by masters such as Botticelli and Degas.
The MGM Cotai Art Collection is a natural extension of this passion, though slightly edgier than what’s on show at the older property, which opened a decade ago. “Tastes have changed,” says Pansy. “Our customers are often millennials. They are younger, connected, well-travelled. They seek different experiences, a different, less obvious kind of luxury.”