As Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Mediterranean (CoDM) in Cyprus opened its doors to a grand array of roulette, poker, baccarat and other games, it soon found itself up against unexpected challenges. The island is currently battling with wildfires that have been exacerbated by one of the longest heatwaves on record.
These natural disasters, coupled with logistical issues and an underdeveloped infrastructure, are posing significant hurdles in attracting high-stakes gamblers to this newly established gaming paradise. Despite offering an impressive line-up of gaming options, from the spin of the roulette wheel to the strategic play of poker and the exciting realm of blackjack, the CoDM is finding it tough to lure the mega-rich to its gaming tables.
Cyprus, mirroring many global locales, is enduring one of the longest heatwaves on record. Greece and its islands are battling relentless wildfires, a plight shared by Italy, Algeria, the US, and other nations.
Wildfires Threaten New Casino Resort
Just last week, Cypriot firefighters waged a desperate battle against one of the year’s worst fires. Their efforts saved lives and minimized property damage due to the fire’s remote location.
As the mercury continues to hover above 100F, the arid conditions are fueling an increasing risk of wildfires. This was evident last week when a blaze in the central mountain region of the Paphos forest scorched nearly 50 acres before firefighters could contain it.
This sparsely populated area, less than an hour from Limassol – home to CoDM, could still pose a threat to residents. A team of 100 firefighters and seven aircraft worked tirelessly to quell the blaze, but not before it devastated acres of forest land teeming with pine and oak trees and diverse wildlife.
Charalambos Alexandrou, director of the Department of Forests for Cyprus, attributed the fire to uninsulated overhead powerlines, highlighting the dire state of the country’s infrastructure.
Can the CoDM Turn the Tide?
Currently, Cyprus struggles to attract the world’s wealthy, primarily due to its lackluster infrastructure and remote geographical location. Edward Granville, CEO of Red Savannah, a London-based firm catering to affluent travelers, opines that Greece has usurped Italy’s position as the top destination for the global jet-setters.
Granville notes that the affluent class typically spends around $44K per vacation, with some splurging up to an eye-watering $1.1 million. He asserts that Cyprus, due to its isolation from neighboring islands and lack of infrastructure, simply cannot cater to this clientele’s demands.
However, Thanos Michaelides, chair of the Cyprus Hotel Association, holds a more optimistic view. While acknowledging that Cyprus currently attracts the rich and famous only sporadically, he sees CoDM as a potential magnet for the ultra-wealthy, including high rollers.
Michaelides believes that CoDM could offer something unique in the region and boost Cyprus’s appeal as a luxury destination. However, this would necessitate significant investment in infrastructure and protective measures for Cypriot resources.