The Mohegan Tribe has announced that its new Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea will host a soft opening on November 30th.

Mohegan said the soft launch next week will allow visitors to access certain facilities before the resort’s full opening. Several more opening phases will follow before Incheon-based Mohegan Inspire begins full operations in the first half of 2024.

The soft launch includes three towers, over 10 restaurants and a multi-purpose arena, the first of its kind in Korea. Visitors also have access to the Aurora digital entertainment street and Splash Bay, an indoor water park with glass domes.

After this initial phase, the resort will open the “Inspire Mall” and a foreign-only casino in the first quarter of 2024. Additional amenities such as the Discovery Park outdoor entertainment facility, a food court and an exhibition center will follow in the second quarter.

Milestone soft launch for Mohegan

James Gessner, chief executive officer of Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan, said the soft launch is a “momentous” occasion for Mohegan.

“We are honored to work closely with the Korean government to make this day possible,” said Gessner. “We look forward to Inspire contributing to the local and regional economy by creating local jobs, introducing visitors to the Incheon region and attracting new businesses both on and near the property.”

Chen Si, who was named president of Mohegan Inspire in September, also welcomed the news. He said the soft launch was a “huge” milestone for the resort project ahead of its full opening.

Si, who previously worked at Las Vegas Sands, oversees the budget and business plans for the $5.0 million integrated resort project.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Korean government, municipalities, local communities and our team members for their support and cooperation in this project,” Si said.

“As we grow with the community, we will establish ourselves as the ultimate entertainment destination, attracting visitors from around the world full of inspiration and innovation.”

Mohegan Inspire gambling is restricted to non-citizens

The Mohegan Tribe received a license from the South Korean government in February 2016. Located at Incheon International Airport, it will be the largest integrated resort in Northeast Asia when fully opened.

Ray Pineault, Mohegan’s president and CEO, previously said the resort would generate “a good portion” of revenue from non-gaming businesses. Korean law requires that only non-citizens can legally play at the casino.

Si’s appointment as president in September was an important part of preparations for the soft and eventual full opening.

Wade Howk has also been named chief operating officer of the integrated resort. Howk previously served as chief financial officer and interim president at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

This week iGB published an in-depth report on integrated resorts and their potential. Here, Pineault spoke about how Mohegan went about planning the opening of the Korean resort, including the importance of combining gaming and non-gaming facilities.

“We are committed to bringing the best practices of our U.S. operations to the Korean market, but in a way tailored to the unique market dynamics,” Pineault said. “In our planning, we carefully studied Korean consumer behavior to ensure we offer a local touch.”