Universal Hotels and Resorts Advances Nustar Resort and Casino in the Philippines

Posted on: December 2, 2021, 09:38h. 

Last updated on: December 2, 2021, 10:41h.

In spite of the obstacles COVID-19 brought to the global casino industry, Universal Hotels and Resorts is moving forward. The company is almost ready to deliver a new resort to the Philippines, with its Nustar Resort and Casino coming to Cebu next year.

Lapu Lapu Shrine
A statue of Rajah Lapu-Lapu in the Mactan Shrine park in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island, Cebu. The area is becoming an international tourism destination and will see a new resort added next year. (Image: Philippines Travel Site)

Nustar has been in the works for the past four years. It was initially announced in November 2017, but a formal agreement to begin construction wasn’t signed until August 2018. Construction of the property is moving forward, and the grand opening should be held next year, according to Phillapeans news outlet SunStar.

Dubbed “the biggest gaming floor outside of Metro Manila,” its gaming floor will span more than 226,000 square feet, according to early plans. There will also be three hotel towers with over 1,000 rooms, four floors of retail and dining space, and meeting and conference rooms.

Nustar will also have a water theme park, allowing the company to cater to family travelers.

International Destination Resort

Cebu was selected because of its ability to service a wide range of international tourists. It expects to receive a significant amount of domestic traffic, as well as visitors from South Korea, China, Japan, and other countries. Thanks to the growth of the Mactan Cebu International Airport, arriving at Cebu is easier and facilitated by more flights.

Universal Hotels and Resorts has been relatively quiet about the resort’s progress until now. Providing an update could be an indication that it now has a clear idea of when everything will be ready. The company reportedly started working on securing its casino licenses this past April from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).

The exact launch date for the resort hasn’t been announced. It will offer a soft launch before opening its doors to the general public.

Cebu Becoming a Global Tourist Hot Spot

Nustar is located on Kawit Island on the east coast of Cebu. The area has become a hot target for casino resorts, including Emerald Bay, because of its redevelopment plans. Nustar sits on reclaimed land in a region known as South Road Properties (SRP). But the entire area is going through an overhaul.

SRP is being reinvigorated to become an entertainment and business hub. A number of projects have been undertaken this year. A 16,000-seat arena, a new convention center, and a 2.7-acre public park are among the items being added.

This past summer, over 100,000 new jobs will be created through the revitalization project, according to the head of real estate developer Ayala Land Estate Visayas, Iris Josef-Mediana, .