Rumours has it that SMTOWN@coexatrium will be closing its doors soon.
It turns out that these hearsays proved to be true, as SM Entertainment later confirmed that the must-visit location for local and international fans will be shutting down “due to financial losses”.
The popular tourist attraction SMTOWN@coexartium was just shut down for the weekend (May 8-9). Fans were guessing that it was because of a cockroach infestation, seen crawling on the floor by Yuta’s feet in the NCT DREAM reaction video.
SM Entertainment did not offer subsequent clarifications nor press statements.
Don’t panic just yet. The entertainment label is currently working on a new facility in Changwon, as what The Korea Herald describes as a “culture playground”.
It is situated in Changwon, the capital city of Gyeongsangnam-do. Unfortunately, this new complex is slightly distant from Seoul. It takes approximately three hours to get there by KTX (South Korea’s high-speed rail) and four hours by car.
While Changwon is commonly known for hosting the finals for the K-Pop World Festival and has earned them the name of a “Hallyu culture hub”, there are still concerns whether such a relocation would result in further losses.
It is reported that the works for the new SMTOWN complex has been in progress for four years. The up-and-coming project is a collaboration with the mayor of Changwon.
The building is said to be twice the size of the present one in the COEX mall, boasting 10 floors above ground and 4 more underground.
The facilities remain about the same, if not better. It is equipped with an interactive Hallyu studio, artist merchandise stores and a hologram theater.
A newfangled addition is the 25-room boutique virtual reality hotel. Themed to give fans the experience of staying in the same space as their favorite idols, it will be located on the building’s top floors.