NagaCorp Ltd, owner and operator of NagaWorld in Phnom Penh, has revealed plans to develop a US$350 million non-gaming resort in Siem Reap aimed at promoting NagaWorld and UNESCO world heritage-listed Angkor Wat as “twin tourism icons of Cambodia.”
The ambitious plan has been made possible after the Cambodian government granted NagaGroup Global Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, a 50-year lease on 75 hectares of land located just 500 meters south of the outer restricted zone surrounding Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s most recognized attraction and the largest religious monument in the world.
According to a Sunday night announcement, NagaCorp’s new development will be complete by 2025 – likely before the US$3.5 billion Naga3 expansion of NagaWorld opens for business – and incorporate high-end hotels, a water theme park, indoor hi-tech theme parks, a canal, water cruise attractions, and MICE facilities.
There will also be an entertainment district called Seam Reap China Town offering street food, pubs, music and shopping, which will be integrated with gardens and water features and protected by an all-weather roof covering that “promotes natural ventilation and soft natural light.”
Provisionally named Angkor Lake of Wonder, the 75 hectares of land on which it is planned to sit would make it larger than the combined size of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Los Angeles.
NagaCorp said the development will serve multiple purposes – boosting visitation to Siem Reap while providing additional promotion of and access to NagaWorld by implementing new travel strategies connecting Siem Reap and Phnom Penh by air, river and road.
“The Group intends to implement strategies of working with on-line and physical travel agents in China and elsewhere to offer tours based on more complete set of facilities based in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh,” NagaCorp said.
“The Group anticipates that tour groups shall visit Angkor Wat as an anchor attraction and then entertainment facilities being offered in NagaWorld Phnom Penh.”
Angkor Lake of Wonder will be designed by US-based Steelman Partners – the design firm behind NagaWorld – and Gensler, with master planning based on the concept of generating as much fun and play as possible in the resort.
It is also envisioned as a precursor to further expansion within Cambodia in the future.
“It is the intention of the Group to be perceived as a more comprehensive and quality integrated resort developer with gaming and non-gaming IRs as means of revenue,” NagaCorp said.
“We will anticipate the non-gaming and gaming integrated resorts will co-exist with each other in a mutually beneficial manner. As soon as the Siem Reap Angkor Lake of Wonder IR and the NagaWorld Complex have shown some positive results that they can benefit from each other, it is also the intention of the Group to explore viable and profitable development in the Sihanoukville areas.
“At that point of time, the Group believes [it will have] already gained a foothold as a strategic, sizable and comprehensive world-class integrated resort developer to help promote tourism in the Kingdom of Cambodia.”