In 1963, the idea of a hill resort came upon the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong. Being the visionary that he was, he envisioned a cool mountain holiday resort within the reach of all Malaysians. It was an arduous task with a fair number of challenges, but it wasn’t long before his vision became a reality. He was soon pioneering unprecedented success in resort development and the makings of a successful and still-growing conglomerate – the Genting Group.
Since the opening of its first hotel in 1971, the then Genting Highlands Resorts (rebranded as Resorts World Genting in 2009) has progressively grown from strength to strength. Today, with some 10,500 rooms across seven distinct hotels, Resorts World Genting (RWG) remains Malaysia’s premier integrated resort destination. The destination features wide-ranging leisure and entertainment facilities, including gaming, themed attractions, dining and retail outlets, as well as world-class shows, iconic events and business convention facilities.
One area where Resorts World Genting truly shines is in its distinct position and offerings for families. Towards this end, the destination continues to innovate and reinvent itself, catering to increasingly astute and demanding generations of families and consumers of family-oriented entertainment.
This can be seen with the introduction of Skytropolis – a 400,000 square foot indoor theme park; and the soon-to-be-opened Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park, an outdoor theme park built across 26 acres at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level.
The destination’s allure as a celebrated family-oriented getaway goes back decades. In fact, most Malaysians will have their own personal family stories and experiences to relate concerning trips up to Genting Highlands. This is true for Jeremy Ong, who has been a frequent visitor to Genting Highlands since his early childhood in the 1980s.
A family affair
“Back then, our trips to Genting were always an extended-family affair. My grandmother had eight children, so our trips would consist of my dad, his siblings and our families, so you can imagine the size of our group! Genting was almost always our main and most frequent choice, mainly due to its proximity – it was the closest hill station with its cool climate. Fraser’s and Camerons were further away and harder to access at that time. So, Genting was always our ‘go-to’ destination,” recalls the 43-year-old entrepreneur.
“As a child, I was happiest when the extended family were together. And because Genting was usually our holiday destination of choice, I have a personal affinity to Genting till today. As a family, we had the ultimate blast at Genting. With such a large family, our parents would enlist the help of our older cousins to take charge of us younger ones, entertaining us at the many attractions. Oh, the fun we had playing arcade games and bumper cars and the antique car ride which was a ‘must-do’ ride for all kids in Genting at that time. It even had the longest queues! Even our walks around the lake area were so memorable with mindless childhood banter, without a care in the world! Back then you could rent boats and get onto the lake. It truly brings back so many vivid and fond memories,” he added, reminiscing.
Bowled-over by bowling!
Besides being around family, another of his fondest memories at Resorts World Genting is also one that would set Jeremy on course of a life-long hobby to this day – bowling!
“At that time, one of the biggest bowling alleys in the country was in Genting. The first time I ever bowled was during one of these trips in Genting with my family. I must have just been about six or seven then, but I was strong enough to carry the light bowling balls,” said Jeremy.
“I still remember the first time that I actually bowled a bowling ball – it went backwards!!” he recalled, working up a smile which grew into a light chuckle. “But it was such an amazing experience for me. I fell in love with the sport instantly!”
Little did the young Jeremy know back then that that experience would chart his path towards bowling greatness. Taking up the sport growing up, he didn’t take long to master it. He eventually became the President of the Bowling Club in his varsity and a National Trainee at the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Association.
Coming full circle
Today, a father himself, Jeremy still frequents Resorts World Genting with his wife, Ivy and their seven-year-old daughter, Tiffany.
“Although we haven’t been up much in recent times due to the various MCO phases, I still try to find time to take my own immediate family now up to Genting Highlands. It’s certainly a nostalgic feeling, having experienced this as a child and now seeing my own daughter experiencing the joy I did when I was her age. That is just priceless. Although with a smaller and more immediate family unit, Genting is still the place where we leave everything behind and just enjoy ourselves and bond as a family, even if it’s just for a short overnight stay, day trip or simply to makan,” says Jeremy.
He acknowledges that Resorts World Genting has grown in leaps and bounds from the time he was a kid – with a pleasant and endearing effect on him and his family.
“Things are much different and more modern, compared to when I was growing up. It’s just a mesmerizing feeling every time I walk in now. But for me, it always goes back to family. You see, I absolutely enjoy the Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park not only because of the state-of-the-art attractions that it presents. But as a parent, it also gives me something to engage in together with my daughter. Before, it was all Barbie dolls and My Little Ponies – something I couldn’t relate to at all. But thanks to these family trips, we not only engage with each other, but she even tells her friends about me: ‘My daddy and I went to Genting and played Mario Kart and Virtual Reality’ and so on,” Jeremy shares.
“As a parent, these are truly precious moments which I will always cherish and treasure; ones I will hold dear for the rest of my life.”
Today, the legacy built by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong certainly lives on. Like Jeremy and his family, millions of other Malaysians and visitors from abroad have come to know and love Resorts World Genting as a choice getaway. Assuredly, it has constantly evolved, truly standing the test of time. As Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park opens its gates later this year, visitors will witness the next chapter in Resorts World Genting’s story – a story which will continue to captivate hearts young and old for decades, even generations, to come.