Erstwhile Disney Executive Plans Mega Resort Casino Project in Spain

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Spain’s Extremadura region is all set to welcome a new casino resort mega project, but it is yet to be seen if the plans are realized.

The mega resort which is planned for Extremadura, an autonomous region in Spain, shall be called Elysium City. Officials announced on Monday that the resort will have a budget of about USD13.5b and will roll out in multiple phases, if the plans are to materialize.

John Cora, who used to be the VP of Disney corporation responsible for resort development and theme park operations will be heading the project. It is being backed by a development firm Cora Alpha which is a subsidiary to his company, Cora Global.

The Elysium Resort will sit upon a 1,200 hectare of land in the local town of Castilblanco. The first phase which is expected to present a golf course, several theme parks, four hotels, a 40k seater football stadium and several infrastructure projects to service a 2k home residential project are looking at completion by the year 2023.

2028 is expected to mark the completion of the second phase. The second phase will include a solar plant, more residential space, a convention center, a Formula One racing track among other facilities.

While the outlay required for the first phase is $3.5b that for the second phase will be an extra USD10b.

If Cora Alpha is successful in their plans, they will set to construct phase one of the project in six-nine months. Unfortunately, Spain has a notorious reputation for green signaling US mega projects initially only to clamp them down before the development process due to interference by local politicians and regulators.

An example of this is the EuroVegas project which was planned by the Las Vegas Sands’. It was planned over several years but fizzled out eventually after it was unable to obtain the necessary smoking law concessions and tax breaks. Another recent example would be the resort casino planned for Madrid by the Cordish company. It failed to take off after it came into hurdles posed by regulators. The only exception is the 2b GBP project planned for Barcelona which Hard Rock international is pushing forward with.

New gaming laws passed this summer by the Extremadura government favors gaming tax – it permits an 80% deduction on the standard 15% gaming revenue in place to big projects like Elysium. Now, if only local authorities let these plans take shape!

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