Barcelona's Answer to Sheldon Adelson's Eurovegas: BCNWorld

Posted on May 30th, 2013

The gloves are off!

bcnworldWe all know about the rivalry between Barcelona and Madrid, and most of the time it stays on the football pitch or in the parliament. But now, it’s spilled over in to competing plans for a casino development in Spain.

Sheldon Aldelson has been touring around Spain trying to drum up interest for a huge new casino complex in Europe- in Spain to be precise. He ran a beauty contest between Madrid and Barcelona, and eventually decided on Madrid for his new EuroVegas project.

How did that go down with the Catalans? Not very well, so they’ve just stuck 2 fingers up and are planning on developing their own Casino city in Tarragona, south of Barcelona. There’s already a big amusement park there (Port Aventura), and the Catalan government have identified a large area (near the Med) to urbanise and build the complex. Take that Sheldon!

BCNWorld (hey! the websites even up, it’s practically a done deal) will be an alternative to Eurovegas.

A business consortium lead by Veremonte from the front and 3 international operators have committed to provide the capital needed to build BCNWorld. The resort, located next to Port Aventura, will have six hotels with 12,000 rooms, six casinos and a large shopping area with 450 world-class brands. The work should start in the autumn for a late 2016 opening.

There has been alot of secrecy surrounding the project. An investment of 4,700m euros, was announced as an alternative to Eurovegas a day after the Government lsot the bid to host Sheldon Adelson’s Eurovegas, who went for Madrid. Since then, little has been said about the fledging Veremonte project.

However, since September, the Catalan Government has been working hard to fast-track BCNWorld in Tarragona. Veremonte has held meetings at the highest level in the Palau de la Generalitat, Catalonia’s head of government. A new casino law has been drafted, and things seem to be going full steam ahead.

Veremonte will eventaully provide 50% of the money. The total investment will be €4.7 billion (the original scope of the project has been reduced).

There will be 3 major features of the mega-complex: BCNDream (residential and business area casinos), Smart Cities (with five themed areas, China, Russia, Middle East, Brazil and India, with entertainment and food) and a Beach Club (with a beach area exclusively for resort guests). There are likely to be subsequent expansion phases in the future.

The complex aims to attract around eight million people a year.

Worl on BCNWorld will begin after the summer and will go on for around three years, with a plan to open in late 2016.

BCNWorld holds some pretty good cards up its sleeve:
It’s near the AP-7 motorway, plus the new AVE high-speed railways and about 10 km from Reus Airport. It’s also been proposed for an area with some experience in these large construction projects (near Port Aventura).

It is hoped that the project will generate 20,000 direct jobs and more indirect work for the Catalan economy.


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