Billionaire ICTSI chairman Enrique “Ricky” Razon Jr. or EQR to his employees will be taking delivery of a brand new twin-engine Eurocopter EC 155 in a couple of months for his personal use or perhaps also for the use of high rollers of the new Solaire Manila Resort and Casino set for a soft opening mid-march.
The EC 155 is easily one of the most luxurious helicopters in its class, described as a “flying limousine” due to its sophisticated design like a fully intuitive glass cockpit with LCD displays, with the most minimal noise and vibration levels that make passengers feel like they’re traveling in a business jet instead of a chopper. That’s because the twin-engine helicopter is equipped with a five-blade main rotor and the trademark Eurocopter “Fenestron” tail rotor.
The “limousine in the sky” has powerful engines with optimum performance at high altitudes, whether in hot or cold temperature. In fact, this “expensive toy for the big boys” is fitted with an “anti-icing system” that allows it to fly even in extremely cold climate conditions. The high-end EC 155 also features a very spacious cabin and a bigger baggage hold volume that allows for flexible configurations – making it perfect for transporting VIPs like the high flying, high-rolling gamers who will be coming in to play at Solaire Manila.
The $1.2 billion resort and casino complex will feature state-of-the-art facilities and modern amenities that will rival what Macau and Las Vegas have to offer. Among the big names being tossed around for Solaire’s grand opening at a later date when the theater is ready include Madonna and Beyonce. Meantime, construction work is being rushed (as seen in the photo taken last week) to make sure that everything will be ready for the March 16 schedule, which according to feng shui is an auspicious date. Of course, “luck” is always a factor in any gaming venture and apparently, Ricky Razon consulted a feng shui expert to find out which would be the most propitious date for a launch.
The young billionaire entrepreneur does not really need feng shui since almost anything he touches turns to gold. In fairness, EQR works very hard, traveling all over the world to check on his ports operations across Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, Europe and Africa. His venture into the gaming industry via Bloomberry Resorts Corporation (which tied up with Global Gaming Asset Management group whose expertise in integrated resorts development is well-known) with Solaire Manila as the flagship project is expected to up the ante, so to speak, as far as the gaming industry is concerned.
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There’s definitely a lot of excitement being generated for the eventual grand opening of Solaire Manila because it will set the ball rolling not only for gaming and entertainment, but also for tourism in the country. Who knows what’s next for the “always on the go” billionaire Ricky Razon?
Hotel man Arthur Lopez informed us about the horrible accident that happened a few months ago at a construction site at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao, Bohol where general manager Franz Eichenauer fell from a height of almost five floors. Franz, an Austrian, suffered from multiple bone fractures and was rushed to a Cebu hospital. The hotel manager went through a bone operation that was reportedly botched and we were told they have to redo the whole operation, with a major multiple fracture bone surgery scheduled today at the Makati Medical Center where he is currently confined.
What also made things difficult for Eichenauer is the fact that his blood type is “A negative” – a rare blood group (but common to Europeans and Caucasians) so Arthur and some kind hearted people issued appeals for blood donations from members of the European community. Our friend, Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber, apparently sent word to Swiss citizens who may happen to have the same blood type (with negative rhesus factor) as Franz Eichenauer. A kind hearted Swiss donor immediately responded and came all the way from Pangasinan to be at the Makati Med, while another Swiss citizen from Iloilo is also on standby. According to the surgeon, there are now two units of Eichenauer’s blood type – enough for the surgery plus another one from the Quezon City Red Cross.
Bellevue Resorts owner Johnny Chan has committed to shoulder all medical costs and expenses until Franz fully recuperates. Stories like this make one continue to have faith in the goodness of people – with good Samaritans coming to the aid of a person in need of help. I have no doubt that all of those who offered their prayers and came to the aid of a fellow human being will ultimately reap good karma. As they say in German – alles ist gut!
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