genting_skyworlds_theme_park_The Genting SkyWorlds theme park at Resorts World Genting (RWG) has missed several opening date targets, including one in December 2021. However, some analysts are predicting that the long-awaited mega park could open by Chinese New Year which falls on February 1 in 2022.

Samuel Yin Shao Yang, an analyst at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, said in a memo on Thursday that the opening and eventual operation in full swing, could help the casino complex and resort owner, Genting Malaysia Bhd hit a more than five-fold increase in earnings for the year before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). He expected that number should reach MYR3.23 billion (US$767.9 million) for the year 2022.

The analyst noted that tourist visits in the fourth quarter of 2021 to the property in Pahang, near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur were robust and comparable to 3Q20 when there were some 4,000,000 visitors. The sprawling casino complex high above the sea includes First World Hotel – the largest hotel in the world with over 7,350 rooms between two towers.

Malaysian’s Prepared for Opening

GGRAsia notes the robust rebound in footfall at Malaysia’s only casino was helped by the high rate of vaccination for Covid-19 found in the Malaysian population. Worldwide, a little over half the population is fully vaccinated while 79.3% of Malaysia has achieved the distinction.

Reflecting on the earlier missed opening date estimate, the analyst wrote: “We expected Genting SkyWorlds to open on December 10, 2021, but it did not come to pass. Channel checks inform us that Genting Malaysia is ‘ironing out’ software issues and hopes to open Genting SkyWorlds for Chinese New Year.

Referencing some of the data drawn upon to reach the expectations, the analyst noted: “The Google Mobility Retail & Recreation Index, which measures interest in retail and recreation relative to pre-COVID-19 times, indicates that Malaysians are a lot more comfortable outdoors today which is very positive for RWG.

“Google Trends, which measures search interest in a particular term, also indicates that RWG is ‘front of mind’ for many Malaysians during holidays if the Omicron variant is kept at bay. The upcoming Chinese New Year ought to be good for RWG,” according to a report on the G3 Newswire.

Covid Impacts Expected to “Moderate”

Maybank forecast Genting Malaysia’s 2021 EBITDA to recover by 63 percent year-on-year to MYR537.2 million, with expectation that Covid-19′s impact on the company’s overseas casino business – in the United States, the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom, “moderates”.

The park, under construction since 2013 as part of a ten-year master plan for development, expansion, enhancement, and refurbishment of the former theme park that closed that year as well as hotels and overall infrastructure will be comprised of nine uniquely themed fantasy worlds with an average of one world-class amusement ride per acre over the 26-acre development.

The worlds include Studio Plaza, Eagle Mountain, Central Park, Rio, Andromeda Base, Liberty Lane, Epic, Robots Rivet Town, and Ice Age.

Source: Genting theme park launch possibly by CNY: Maybank, GGRAsia, January 7, 2022

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