Melco hopes to Trump Macau condos

Jul 10, 2007 8:35 AM

James Packer and Lawrence Ho, partners in Melco PBL International Resorts (MPEL) have apparently been impressed with the gold-tinted, fast-selling Trump Towers on the Las Vegas Strip and want to duplicate the property in Macau.

They want their City of Dreams Macau casino development to carry the Trump International brand name. This marketing move, they say, will enable Melco to ask premium prices for the property’s condo units.

It was reported last week that Donald Trump has been looking to team up with Melco for a Macau development. Fuel was added to this rumor last week when Citigroup’s Hong Kong office put out an international sales call to investors, mentioning that a Melco/Trump was a possibility.

Melco has already announced plans to enter the Las Vegas gaming market while Trump, so far, has limited his exposure to the Strip with the area’s tallest condominium just behind Phil Ruffin’s New Frontier Hotel/Casino.

And, again, up to this point, Trump has not made an effort to acquire a casino in the restricted Macau market while Melco already operates the Crown Macau casino.

Melco’s second casino, the City of Dreams, will have an underwater theme and will open in 2009. Its condo-hotel side is expected to have 650 units that will attract high-end buyers.

Even though they haven’t yet been built, Macau press reports have indicated that the units are selling for high prices and that flippers already are involved in looking for quick profits.

Melco hopes that by adding Trump’s name to the project it will help place the condos at the top of the Macau market.