Made in seven: Resorts World Manila coo reflects and looks ahead on 7th anniversary

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RESORTS World Manila (RWM) Chief Operat­ing Officer Stephen Reilly has been behind the reins of the country’s first integrated resort since opening its doors in 2009. Ever since, RWM has been the leading purveyor of thrills, pro­viding Filipinos with a taste of world-class enter­tainment, accommodations and gaming, the likes of which were once only seen in London, New York, and Las Vegas. On August 28, RWM marked its sev­enth anniversary in the business with Reilly leading the celebrations, beaming with pride.

“My career in the gaming industry started while I was in the UK,” says the British native. “After that, I came to Asia and joined Genting Hong Kong’s cruise-ship operation predominately based in Ma­laysia. In 2009 I came to the Philippines initially as the country head of Genting Hong Kong. My job was to set up the support services and operations of Genting Hong Kong here in the Philippines. Genting Hong Kong partly owns RWM, so while I was head­ing the Genting project, I was already working on many aspects of the RWM development.”

As RWM continues to grow and expand, so too does its portfolio of offerings and attractions. The imminent completion of the Marriott West Wing will add 228 hotel rooms and is on track to open in the second half of 2016. Also noteworthy is the ad­ditional entertainment areas in Remington Hotel. And, if that was not enough, three more hotels— the Hilton Hotel Manila, the Sheraton Manila Ho­tel, and Maxims Hotel new wing—are scheduled to open starting end of 2017 till first half 2018.

“The best part for me is the growth of the indus­try, especially here in the Philippines,” Reilly says. “If there’s one thing I enjoy about my work, its build­ing. Seeing things build from the ground up from nothing. I enjoy following it from the conception of an idea, to fulfillment, to operation. I also enjoy see­ing how people develop, showing people their poten­tial or actually increasing their potential.”

On the entertainment front, RWM brings to the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) stage on September 30 its seventh major production, the award-winning family musical Annie with Krystal Brimner and Isabeli Araneta Elizalde alternating the role of the optimistic orphan, and Michael de Mesa playing the role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. This latest theater offering further cements RWM’s commitment to champion the Filipino, supported by the inception of the Original Pilipino Perform­ing Arts Foundation last year with an initial fund of up to P100 million.

“I have always been drawn to the bright lights and glitz of the entertainment industry and there’s a lot of it running an integrated resort like Resorts World Manila,” Reilly shares. “Come September 30, we would have mounted seven all-Filipino theater productions since we began operations. We’ve truly captured the richness of world-class talent and the spirit of fun right in one thrilling place—all in just seven years.”

For more information on RWM attractions, visit www.rwmanila.com or call the tourist/visitor hotline at (02) 908-8833.