US casino developer Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) has announced plans to develop a resort and casino as part of Athens’ Hellinikon regeneration project.
The Connecticut-based company intends to bring together a hotel, entertainment venues, a convention centre, shopping, dining and "a comprehensive mix of premium amenities".
The resort will boost the prospects of Hellinikon, an €8bn redevelopment of Athens’ former airport that was hit recently by the failure of Lamda Development, the company taking the project forward, to agree investment terms with unnamed backers in the Gulf and China.
Lamda announced in September that Hellinikon would proceed as a Greek venture, and asked its shareholders to contribute €650m to its finance.
Mario Kontomerkos, the chief executive of MGE, said in a press release: "We understood that Inspire Athens was meant to symbolise more than an integrated resort. It is our hope that Inspire Athens would be the catalyst that sparks the entire development of the Hellinikon area into the coveted Athenian Riviera, forever redefining the modern identity of Greece."
According to MGE, the resort intends to be "southern Europe’s centre for A-list music concerts, theatrical performances, major sporting events, and other arts and cultural activities on a weekly basis".
The resort was designed by Las Vegas architect Steelman Partners. Paul Steelman said in a press statement that the design was intended to be "iconic in nature, yet characterise Athens’ historic architecture and rich culture while adopting a new stylistic narrative that inspires the region’s future".
MGE said its scheme would increase international tourism by "at least 10%" in the Attica region.
Image: Steelman Partners’ concept design for the resort