Clairvest IR plans questioned at prefectural assembly presentation

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An artists impression of Clairvests proposed Wakayama IR.

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The Japanese arm of Canadian investment group Clairvest Neem Ventures has faced a grilling from council members during a joint session about the companys Wakayama IR plans.

The joint council meeting of the Wakayama Prefectural Assembly on 8 July saw Clairvest open its business plan to questions, with project manager Takeshi Kaji outlining an initial investment of around JPY 470 billion (US$4.25 billion). It also hopes to employ up to 14,000 people and attracting 13 million visitors, including 3 million overseas guests, by its fourth year of operations.

However, doubts were raised regarding the size of investment required and the noticeably large number of customers Clairvest is forecasting.

Trying to have everything is making it hard to follow, one council member said, according to Wakayama Shimbun. The suggestion is that Clairvest is trying too hard to please via the numbers it is presenting.

It seems likely that Clairvest wasnt expecting such harsh criticism even from council members who are in favor of an IR.

The company was named as Wakayamas operator partner last month following the withdrawal of Suncity Group late in the prefectures RFP process, but there are concerns over its lack of experience in gaming and the operation of large-scale integrated resorts.

The prefecture stated upon selecting Clairvest, We will work together with Clairvest to create an area development plan but will request further refinement of the proposal contents and strengthening of the project implementation system.

According to the Wakayama Shimbun, Kaji told last weeks council meeting, The details for competing with other IR candidate locations are not clear.

If we can incorporate everyones knowledge to refine [the plan] then we can achieve it and I hope to set up an opportunity to explain the basis of these target numbers in the future.

Clairvest announced in June that it had partnered with William Weidners AMSE Resorts Japan and French casino operator Groupe Partouche to develop its Wakayama IR project.