Belle confident of City of Dreams pre-opening cost controls

    Belle Corp, which has partnered with Melco Crown to open the $1.3 billion City of Dreams resort in Manila in the Philippines, says it’s confident that the project has kept pre-opening expenses under control ahead of its launch later this year. Rival Bloomberry Resorts, which opened its Solaire Resort & Casino in March last year, reported a 2012 net loss of $16.9 million after pre-opening costs ballooned. Armin Santos, Belle executive vice president, said expenses were under control as the venture had been able to “borrow” from Melco in terms of staff and expertise and therefore hadn’t had to hire in on inflated salaries. While declining to give a figure for the latest pre-opening expenses, he said the project had also benefited as it had not had to hire an external management company. According to Melco’s Q1 results, the City of Dreams had about $8.8 million of operating expenses, which primarily related to pre-opening costs as well as share based compensation cost, and recorded a net loss of approximately $21.8 million. Santos confirmed the resort is on track to open later this year.