CLARK FREEPORT — A satiation of the senses – the glitter and sparkle of Marriott Clark’s grand ballroom, Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha and harpist Noelle Cassandra, a six-course dinner by executive chef Jan Broz, guests in formal wear – truly befitting the launch of Clark’s, aye, north of Manila’s latest, “mostest,” luxurious lifestyle brand – Hann Resorts.
Indeed, hard to believe the opening remarks of Widus Group director Agnes “Neki” Liwanag in retracing Widus’ humblest of beginnings – a young Mr. Daesik Han in shorts and shirt coming to the Clark Development Corp. office bringing nothing more than his brilliant vision – to this acme of the leisure industry.
President-CEO Daesik Han now presenting the world-class destination brand Hann Resorts “with two sub-brands – the Hann Casino Resort here in Clark and the 450-hectare property in New Clark City which is the Hann Lux Lifestyle Resort.”
“We will create a synergy effect. This property will be transformed into a genuine five-star international brand. It is going to be the first integrated luxury resort outside Metro Manila,” he said, to applause from the well-heeled corporate guests, both local and foreign.
Widus Hotel started operations in 2007 with only 120 hotel rooms while the casino began its operation in 2009 with 24 casino tables and 150 slot machines.
In 2019, CDC recognized Widus Group as the Top Revenue Producer of the Clark Freeport, even as Widus Hotel continued its unprecedented growth to 233 hotel rooms, 70 casino tables, 440 slot machines, plus electronic table games.
By year-end, it registered with another 260 hotel rooms with the operation of the first five-star hotel in north of Luzon – the Clark Marriott Hotel.
More coming soon, Liwanag said: “You may have noticed the construction just outside this hall. We will have additional 370 hotel rooms, 200 tables to 1,000 slot machines” in an as-yet unnamed hotel.
“For the past 13 years, Widus has strategically evolved and changed, and along with it, landscape of Clark, and probably even that of the country in the years to come,” Liwanag declared. “Soon, we will be adding four more international hotel brands, three 18-hole championship golf courses, and other luxury facilities.”
In October last year, the Widus Group signed with the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) a lease agreement for the development of a luxury mountain resort in New Clark City that shall host global hospitality brands such as the Banyan Tree Hotel, Angsana Hotel, Westin and Luxury Collection by Marriott.
Under the agreement, Widus will lease 450 hectares of land at NCC with an investment commitment of P12 billion.
Adding a spice of celebrity to the launch were fashionista Tessa Prieto-Valdez and hosts James Deakin and Daphne Oseña-Paez.