Paradise Hotel Casino Changes Decision to Close will Remain Open
Michael Song, Dec. 29, 2015, 7:44 a.m.
The ‘Paradise Hotel Incheon’ which hosted the first foreigners only casino in the 1960s, decided to withdraw their announcement that they had made to close after 50 years of business. According to Paradise hotel officials, the hotel made a final decision to change their plan of closing into a plan to continue their business. It seems that the hotel made a change in their decision to close after local residents spoke out that the hotel should continue their business.
As soon as the residents of Joong-gu heard that the hotel would go out of business, they set up a task force encouraging the hotel to normalize management. Hotel officials comment that they felt the need to reciprocate the anticipation of the local residents, who have supported them over the years. They also put into consideration, in their decision to close, that Incheon was a famous landmark drawing in tourists that would increase their business.
After opening in 1965 as the ‘Olympus Hotel’, the hotel grew to be the representative hotel of the area for over 50 years. However, their sales went down as five star hotels entered the Songdo area, and management decided to run the enterprise until the end of 2015 and proceed to shut down business functions.
Starting with 43 rooms in 1965, the hotel is the first tourist hotel in Incheon. The elevator installed in the hotel is also the first of its kind in Incheon, and still running. After opening, the ‘Olympus Hotel’ has been visited by many important guests who visited Incheon.
In 1967, the third year after opening, the hotel hosted the first foreigners only casino in Korea. This is a year earlier than the Walkerhill hotel located in Seoul. The late Jeon Rak-won, founder of Paradise Group who passed away in 2004, held the nickname ‘Godfather of the Casino Business’. He took over the hotel in 2000 and changed its name to ‘Paradise Hotel Incheon’. The casino which was hosted by the hotel moved to the Grand Hyatt Incheon located near Incheon International Airport in 2005, and is still in business.