Hard Rock International’s CEO for the Asia-Pacific region, Ed Tracy, outlined his firm’s consortium-building strategy, saying a construction, or real estate partner would be ideal, as it seeks to win an IR license in Tomakomai, Hokkaido.
Tracy noted in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television that a go-it-alone mentality probably wouldn’t work in Japan: “We expect that even though it’s not outlined in the legislation that you have to have local partners, it just makes good sense.”
Asked about the nature of the partnerships that Hard Rock is seeking, he observed. “Significantly in Japan real estate costs are pretty high on a global scale, so a real estate partner would be great, and obviously a construction partner. That’s kind of the starting point.”
He added, “We also have significant content partners and technology partners that are Japanese based.”
Tracy reiterated that Hard Rock is very much focused on Hokkaido: “Our evaluation shows us that Tomakomai city is exactly the right place… We’ve been forming partnerships there and we’ve been working very hard with a tourism company.”
As for how long he expects the licensing process to take, Tracy stated, “It looks like three years to me before the first shovel goes into the ground.”