The nation of Georgia’s Orbi Group and Block Group have teamed up with Mark Advent, founder and creator of the Las Vegas casino New York New York; and Bill Allen, former chairman and CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, to announce the creation of Iconic Entertainment.
The group’s first project – a 1,400-room luxury integrated resort and retail center located on Kazbegi Avenue in Tbilisi – is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2025.
The property will feature a 40,000-square-foot casino and a 20,000-square-foot entertainment and multi-purpose venue that will host a calendar of concerts, special and private events. In addition, Iconic Entertainment will soon announce a series of new integrated resorts in Batumi.
Iconic Entertainment – jointly owned by Orbi, Block, Advent and Allen, with offices in 25 countries – is concluding licensing agreements with several of the entertainment and lifestyle brands and will soon announce plans to launch and open its initial lineup of lifestyle and experience resort development projects in Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, Las Vegas and other gateway markets.
Advent’s $465 million New York New York opened in 1997 on the Las Vegas Strip. The property paved the way for investments in similar city-themed projects, such as the Paris Casino Hotel (Las Vegas and Macau), the Venetian Casino Hotel (Las Vegas and Macau), and the London Casino Hotel in Macau, which opened in 2023.
“Teaming up with Orbi Group and Block Group, world-class developers whose leaders have become close friends and esteemed associates, is perhaps the most exciting opportunity of my career,” said Advent. “We are all committed to creating transformative casino, hotel, leisure and entertainment destinations that will raise the bar and usher in a new era of ‘must-see’ experiential experiences with global appeal.”
A. William (“Bill”) Allen, III, led the $4 billion acquisition of Bloomin’ Brands with private equity firms L. Catterton and Bain Capital and subsequently guided the company through traditional concepts in the industry, including Outback Steakhouse and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which Allen co-founded.
“Coming together with Orbi Group, Block Group and Mark is a game-changer for our industry,” said Allen. “We are united in our commitment to creating projects that transform the markets in which we operate while generating substantial upsides for all. I see enormous potential in Georgia, the UAE and Las Vegas as we create opportunities that inspire and innovate with sound business practices, vision and strong leadership teams.”
Irakli Kvergelidze, Chief Executive Officer of Orbi Group, added: “We have been pioneering and developing the largest hotels in Georgia for over a decade, and we are thrilled to partner with Mark and Bill as we forge the future of our company with developments that spur robust tourism demand. Adding their vision and international expertise to what we are creating with Block Group will take our real estate developments to even greater heights and financial success.”
Block Group CEO Tornike Janashvili, said: “We are building real estate projects in Tbilisi, Batumi and elsewhere at a level of quality and excellence that will offer our guests an unmatched, completely immersive entertainment experience.”
“We have always thought outside the box, and forming this partnership with Mark and Bill adds another layer of excellence and innovation to our current and future endeavors. We can’t wait to unveil Iconic Entertainment’s initial slate of developments, which I am convinced will capture global attention and change the game forever in Georgia and beyond,” he concluded.