The Crown Melbourne - C: Alamy
The boss for Australia’s Crown Melbourne casino has announced that his venue will soon undergo an ‘amazing redevelopment’ so as to be transformed into a ‘Las Vegas-style integrated resort’.
Mike Volkert serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Crown Melbourne and he stated that the 29-year-old Victoria venue ‘hasn’t had the investment or the love it needs’ but has nevertheless been ‘well maintained’ and remains the ‘crown jewel of Melbourne’. The American moreover declared that the masterplan for the upcoming makeover has drawn inspiration from the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas and is to focus on creating ‘a place people will be really proud to enjoy’.
Mike Volkert, CEO Crown Melbourne - C: Crown Resorts
American private equity management firm The Blackstone Group Incorporated now owns and runs Crown Melbourne following the inking of its $6.35 billion purchase of former operator Crown Resorts Limited in June of 2022. This deal was completed after more than two years of negotiations and moreover gave the new proprietor control over Australia’s gambling-friendly Crown Perth and Crown Sydney facilities.
Volkert proclaimed that integrated resorts in Las Vegas generate about 70% of their revenues from non-gaming activities and he is hoping the new-look Crown Melbourne will follow suit by being more focused on providing first-class entertainment alongside unique food and beverage experiences. He asserted that this transformation is to furthermore see the venue situated alongside the banks of the Yarra River in the city’s ‘Southbank’ district ‘get back to its roots’ to once again serve as the ‘entertainment capital’ of Australia.
“This is a world-class city and it deserves a world-class resort,” Volkert said. “The Blackstone Group Incorporated is a massive company internationally with a big global footprint. It saw an incredible opportunity with Crown Melbourne and we think that, if we put some investment in, we can do something really special here.”
Without going into specifics or financials, Volkert pronounced that the phased Crown Melbourne redevelopment is to involve makeovers for every one of the facility’s 1,604 rooms alongside the premiere of a ‘world-class shopping experience’. He revealed that the transformation will additionally see the venue’s collection of riverside restaurants change by taking advantage of Melbourne’s ‘culinary talents to do something really incredible’.
“We’re going to bring the sparkle back to ‘Southbank’ by revitalizing the Yarra River,” Volkert said. “That whole river walk; it’s an amazing place and the opportunity to bring in new venues, new restaurants and also entertainment value. We really want to rethink that whole area and make it an entertainment destination in and of itself so that when people are coming to Melbourne, the river walk will actually be on their list.”
Volkert detailed that the coming improvements will also run to Crown Melbourne’s nighttime fire show alongside partnerships with a range of local businesses so as ‘to make Christmas a much bigger event’.
“Crown Melbourne is planning an amazing redevelopment,” Volkert said. “We want to be the center of helping this city grow and really become an international destination again. We have amazing service here and we really want to put Melbourne and Crown back on the map.”