New store F&B drive traffic to Studio City

Kevin Benning, senior vice president and general manager of real estate, told GGRAsia that fresh retailers will be added to shopping and dining facilities during the quarter, as well as the second phase of Kotai’s Studio City Casino Resort, which includes a branch of Japan’s popular retail discount chain Dondonki (pictured).

Studio City is operated by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. and owns most of it. The company confirmed to GGRAsia that the second phase also has a premium bulk gambling area inside the Epic Tower hotel building. The latter was a soft opening for room accommodation in April.

Regarding Studio City’s out-of-game overhaul, Mr Benning (pictured below) said: “Additional retail locations will continue to open during Phase 1. On the ground…In December…A dozen or so new retail stores have opened… Maybe another 10 or so… We will open in the next three months.” Dondonkey will open in Phase 2 this quarter.

He also said, “We’ve opened quite a variety of new tenants across the property from an F&B [food and beverage] perspective and have introduced some famous brands. Recently, we opened Hip Seng [Seafood Hot Pot Restaurant]. We’ve got Zhen Dim Sum, Häagen-Dazs, Godiva…We’re adding Starbucks.” In 2024, fast food chain Five Guys.

Mr. Benning said the new restaurants would be an option for those who visit non-game attractions, including resident concerts and a new indoor water park. “We saw a need for an increase in F&B and our tenants were very happy with the result,” he said. The various events and facilities were “as they brought in a lot more visitors than ever before.”

Even during non-holiday periods, Studio City could host up to 25,000 visitors a day, Mr Benning said. “It could be much more over the weekend,” he noted.

Studio City’s revamp related to Phase 1 amenities aims to achieve a “better balance” of premium leisure products and public market leisure products, the real estate executive said. “We still have brands like Omega. But at the same time, we felt we needed bigger foot traffic drivers,” he said.

A new nightclub, Moon On Planet, known as the Club MOP, opened in December. It is in Studio City’s Star Tower and club entry includes access to the outdoor pool deck in the building. The Club MOP also has many karaoke rooms.

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