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Wakayama extends RFP deadline by two months, operator selection pushed to January 2021

Wakayama prefecture announced Monday that it will extend the deadline for operators to submit material as part of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process by almost two months, from 31 August to 19 October, due to the impact of COVID-19.

The delay comes after just two companies, Hong Kong’s Suncity Group and Canadian IR investment firm Clairvest Group, responded to Wakayama’s RFP assessment call in April. Philippines IR operator Bloomberry Resorts and French firm Groupe Barrière were among the notable absentees at the time with Bloomberry citing difficulties in meeting the timeline due to COVID-19.

In response, Wakayama prefecture has now extended its timeline, with operator selection also pushed back from November 2020 to January 2021. The prefecture maintains its goal of opening an IR by 2025.

Wakayama is one of four locations openly in the running to develop one of three integrated resorts nationwide, alongside Yokohama, Osaka and Nagasaki. All have now confirmed delays to their schedules.

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