Once the company is given final approval, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment plans to begin construction immediately on its 8.9-million-euro ($1 billion) integrated resort casino at the abandoned Hellinikon Airport in Athens, Greece.
The resort casino is part of the larger “Hellinikon Project,” an initiative to convert Athens’ enormous former airport into a large urban metropolitan park featuring premium amenities.
Mohegan Gaming had previously won a bidding war against their US rival, commercial casino operator Hard Rock International, for a 30-year casino license on the property.
After Hard Rock’s appeal was denied by the Hellinikon Gaming Commission back in May to grant Mohegan the licensing instead, planning for immediate construction is said to be in full swing.
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment CEO Mario Kontomerkos, who spoke at a economic forum just last week, stated “We have already done a detailed job to ensure that we start as soon as possible.”
Greek Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis also confirmed that the first phase of the Hellinikon Project is planned to begin next month. This includes preparing the site by demolishing approximately 900 buildings and structures to clear the area.
The resort will be designed by the international architectural firm Steelman Partners, with LAMDA Development chosen to oversee construction and management of the site.
The metropolitan park will feature luxury hotels, a convention center, numerous restaurants, a marina, offices, a shopping district and a nearly mile-long beach.
CEO Mario Kontomerkos also clarified that the coronavirus pandemic will not affect the long-term project, but rather has even strengthened the company’s belief in continuing with the planned construction.
The Hellinikon International Airport was Athens’ main airport until it was replaced by Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in 2001, with its grounds being used to host several Olympic competitions back in the summer of 2004.