Macau makes moves to develop non-gaming sectors

New HK$26.5 billion MGM Cotai integrated resort brings advanced exhibition and convention technologies, and Asia’s first dynamic theatre

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 6:53pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 6:53pm

In 2016, the Macau government rolled out a five-year development plan to promote non-gaming industries and to diversify the economy. Meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions (MICE) is one of the plan’s focus industries.

The new MGM Cotai in the Cotai resort area, with its advanced exhibition and convention technologies, has enhanced the city’s MICE facilities.

The HK$26.5 billion integrated resort, which opened in mid-February, provides 1,390 guest rooms and suites. It houses Asia’s first dynamic theatre, and 2,870 square metres of meeting space. It also has nine restaurants serving international cuisines by acclaimed chefs Mauro Colagreco, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Graham Elliot and Janice Wong.

“We have seen increasing demand for high quality meeting, incentive, exhibition and convention venues in Macau,” says Victoria Fuh, vice-president of resort sales of MGM. “MGM Cotai will provide the perfect meeting place for our business partners with seamless integration of technology that will create a functional yet innovative space.”

Its dynamic MGM Theater, is designed by Montreal-based theatre and entertainment venue-design firm Scéno Plus and empowered by cutting-edge technology and engineering. The multifunctional space is divided into orchestra and balcony levels, and can be transformed into over 10 different configurations for functions and events, from a concert, fashion show or film premiere, to a 360-degree configuration for talk shows, product launches and DJ sessions.

To make this happen, the theatre is equipped with an advanced room- transformation system featuring reconfigurable seating and motorised platforms. All the seats on the orchestra level are flippable and controlled by the configuration system developed by leading understage equipment manufacturer Gala Systems. In about 20 minutes, the orchestral level can be transformed from a full-standing space for 2,344 people, to 909-seat seminar, 1,424 mosh-pit or 1,002 cabaret configurations, and more.

The theatre is one of the most complex in the world
Jim Murren, chairman and CEO, MGM Resorts International

Patrick Bergé, president of Scéno Plus, says the MGM Theatre was the most challenging project in his 35-year career. The company previously designed the multifunctional theatre at MGM National Harbour in Maryland and The Park Theatre at the Monte Carlo Resort in Las Vegas. While the theatre integrates cutting-edge technology in construction, it is installed with comfortable seats that are designed and manufactured by Poltrona Frau, the Italian furniture maker that creates seats for Ferrari.

The venue is the world’s first theatre offering 28 million pixels of viewing quality and the home of the world’s largest permanent indoor LED screen. Its giant 900-square-metre 4K LED screen is equivalent to the size of three tennis courts. With an ultra-high-resolution live video system, guests’ reactions can be captured and reflected on the LED wall in real time and at a real life-size.

A technical team from the resort was sent to Hollywood to learn how to operate the theatre. “The theatre is one of the most complex in the world and we have invested in training our local staff to learn how to use this technology,” says Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International and chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings.

“We sent 10 local team members to Hollywood for an intensive two-week training programme, helping them to familiarise themselves with the entertainment technology they will operate at MGM Cotai. The group has visited VER, the creative experience company that supplied the LED panels on the giant wall totalling 28 million pixels.”

The resort has other spaces for meetings and events. Its pillar-free grand ballroom can host up to 1,000 people; its Grand Salon conference rooms are equipped with built-in screens and 4K ultra HD projectors; and the 689-square-metre boardroom can be for a more cosy setting.

For guests looking for a tropical setting, the 450-square-metre Vista, overlooking the reflective pool and lush greenery,features a spacious alfresco terrace connected to an indoor event space.