Wakayama selects Clairvest as Yokohama narrows IR candidates

The city of Wakayama has become the first in Japan to select an integrated resort developer, with Canadian private equity group Clairvest chosen to construct a facility, while Yokohama has narrowed its potential partners to two.


Clairvest, via its Clairvest Neem Ventures subsidiary, was the last business standing in the tender process, after SunCity Group announced last month that it was to withdraw.

Should the site, in the city’s Wakanoura Bay, be selected to host one of Japan’s three integrated resorts, Clairvest will construct a 569,000 square metre facility, of which 38,000 square metres will be a gaming floor.

The property will also include a large conference hall, taking up approximately 45,000 square metres, as well as a number of facilities such as a Japanese heritage museum, restaurants, an esports facility and an urban sports park. It will also be able to accommodate 2,700 guests.

Designed to be a “floating city”, it is described in documents released by the prefectural government as offering a “nature-rich” experience to guests.

Clairvest’s initial outlay for the facility is estimated at JPY470bn (£3.03bn/€3.53bn/$4.29bn).

While Wakayama has become the first to officially select its IR partner, Osaka is in a similar position, in that it has just one contender to develop a facility.

MGM Resorts International has long been committed to a facility in the city, for which it has formed a consortium with Japanese financial services giant Orix Corporation.

This week it also emerged that Yokohama had narrowed its bidders to two contenders, with Genting Singapore - working with pachinko developer Sega Sammy Holdings - and Melco Resorts & Entertainment competing for selection.

Nagasaki, meanwhile, is a three-horse race, between Casinos Austria International, Oshidori International Development and its partner Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, and Niki Chyau Fwu Group.