“Inspire Athens”, the casino project in Hellinikon is expected to increase international tourism to Attica by 10%.
Addressing the ’22nd Annual Capital Link Forum – Invest in Greece’ last week, Mario Kontomerkos, CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, expressed his belief in the viability of the project in Greece. “It has the privilege of a temperate climate all year round, it is located in a place with amazing views, sunny, by the sea and with a nice atmosphere. The capital is home to 4 million people, while 19 countries are within 2 hours by plane.
“You have a unique culture and history, and a unique culture in gastronomy and entertainment, which already attracts 30 million visitors a year to the country. There is also infrastructure and transportation systems that can serve large numbers of travellers. In addition, you have a cultured, serious and dedicated workforce with experience in managing foreign visitors.”
Regarding the foreign investor’s point of view, Kontomerkos added: “I see a strong and growing relationship between Greece and America, as well as a very business-friendly political climate, which confirms our experience over the last year. We have a common business language, while at the same time Greece is currently benefiting from an improved business profile.”
“For a foreign investor who thinks of Greece as a destination, what I have said is fundamental and builds trust. If all this continues, as I believe will happen, then other investors will follow,” he continued.
The CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainmen also referred to the project’s multiple benefits both in the short and long term. “INSPIRE Athens will increase international tourism to Attica by 10 percent… This will generate revenue, which will increase and provide sales and tax proceeds to the Greek state and the people of Greece.”
The investment leads to 7,000 jobs and cooperation with many Greek companies in the fields of banks, construction and law.
Moreover, Hellinikon aspires to become one of Greece’s first sustainable “smart cities”.
“We plan to create a ‘smart city’ in Hellinikon that will be equipped with special sensors for traffic and waste management; its homes will utilise the latest means of technology, while special systems will control energy consumption and CO2 emissions,” said Odisseas Athanasiou, Chief Executive Officer of Lamda Development.
According to Athanasiou, the development of Hellinikon’s coastline will be completed by late 2024 or early 2025.
On his part, Greek Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis said the Hellinikon project offered tangible but also intangible benefits: “We may be able to create an example here [in Hellinikon] and demonstrate a model, which will show other investors around the world that Greece is ready for foreign investments.”
INSPIRE Athens, the first Integrated Resort and Casino (“IRC”) in Greece
“Inspire Athens”, will be a 24/7 destination, the like of which does not yet exist in Europe. It will incorporate a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention centre, shopping, restaurants, bars, casino and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities.
The iconic design of the building was created by Steelman Partners, an international architectural firm specializing in IRC design and development. The concept form draws inspiration from the architectural history of Greece, particularly from Athenian sculptures and buildings including the Acropolis and the Caryatids.