By Lee Hae-rin
INCHEON – Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort aims to become the largest entertainment resort in the country attracting 3.5 million annual visitors by leveraging the growing global popularity of K-pop and K-culture, the resort said, Wednesday.
“After eight years of hard work, COVID-19, all kinds of challenges, we’re finally here. We soft-opened on Nov. 30, and on the third day of our opening, we hosted the Melon Music Awards and welcomed over 12,000 fans into the resort,” Chen Si, the company’s chief operating officer, said during a press conference. The Melon Music Awards is an annual music awards show that took place on Dec. 2.
Ahead of its full launch, scheduled for early next year, the resort launched three hotel towers, restaurants, entertainment and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities and a multipurpose performance venue around the soft opening last month. It expects to receive 3.5 million visitors next year, foreseeing itself to become “the biggest and largest operator” of an entertainment complex in Korea, he said.
The resort’s key feature as an entertainment complex is the arena, Korea’s first indoor multipurpose performance venue, which will “completely change the concert experience,” in Korea, according to Jamie Jang, general manager of the arena.
Built and designed to be optimal for live concerts, the 15,000-seated venue grants great stage proximity and visibility to audience members, Jang explained. All seats are built staggered to ensure the best viewing angle, while the distance between the farthest seat and the stage is only 75 meters, which is 10 meters shorter than the Olympic Stadium in Jamsil, the largest concert venue in the country.
The world-class audio system and food and beverage facilities around the concert venue in the integrated resort will enrich music fans’ and concert-goers’ entertainment experience to another level, according to Jang.
Around 60 percent of events held here will be music concerts, while the remaining 30 percent and 10 percent will respectively be indoor sports and corporate events. The multipurpose venue can be modified by moving the stage and audience structures, making it suitable for hosting a wide range of events.
From the arena, the resort expects to generate annual sales of over 50 billion won ($37 million) in the country’s 1 trillion won concert market and contribute to the local economy in Incheon’s Yeongjong Island by bringing more consumers.
“Our focus on driving foreign people into Incheon is not just based on the resort, it’s also leveraging the entire K-culture and K-pop as well,” Si said, highlighting the programming for the arena would be critical to driving traffic to the resort complex.
The venue will stage K-pop sensation SHINee member Taemin’s solo concert this weekend, as well as TVXQ and AKMU and many more K-pop performances.
Following the soft opening, the resort will open the remaining facilities gradually.
The shopping area and a foreigner-exclusive casino will open in the first quarter of next year, while the outdoor entertainment facility, an international food court and an exhibition center will open in the following quarter.