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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Singapore's Marina Bay Sands opens

SINGAPORE: Singapore's second integrated resort, the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) formally opened Wednesday, with its owner Sheldon G. Adelson, Chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp saying it would become the benchmark for future tourism development elsewhere.

"The MBS is not a casino-centric development project as in the old days," Adelson said.

He explained that his company's latest US$5.5 billion Singapore resort is a multi-amenities integrated facility which caters to all categories of visitors.

"It is like the bicycle spokes. Previously, the spokes led to the hub, where the casino was, but now lead to all amenities," he told a media crowd of about 1,100 journalists and television crew from over 60 countries, specially brought in for the resorts opening celebrations.
Adelson highlighted that among Las Vegas Sands Corp's integrated resorts, the MBS is the fourth, with the casino only occupying less than 10 per cent of its amenities.

He said for countries serious about boosting tourism and creating new jobs, the integrated resort model was unmatched.

"The MBS will now be the reference point by which all new tourism projects will be judged," he added.

He also said Singapore was already benefitting from the MBS with its tourist arrival figures on the rise since its soft opening on April 27.

The resort has been receiving about 125,000 visitors daily and about 500,000 people entered the casino this month.

Adelson said the casino expected its visitors to come from three market segments.

The primary segment he explained, comprised Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia with the second being Thailand and the Indo-Chinese countries while the third has Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan, India and the Philippines.

According to Adleson, he planned to open similar integrated resorts in the Mediterranean region, either in Spain, Greece or Italy, and in Seoul or Inchon in Korea, if local laws are in tune with his company's policy.

As part of the opening celebration, the rest of the hotel's 2,560 rooms and suites were thrown open for guests, along with additional shops, restaurants and facilities at Asia's largest expo and convention centre at the MBS.

Tomorrow, the much-anticipated 340-metre long rooftop strip, Sands SkyPark, will open. It is shaped like a floating ship in the sky and sits 60 stories high on three hotel towers like cricket-stumps and features swimming pools and gardens.

The MBS will continue to open additional features including theaters, a museum and crystal pavilions next year.

By Bernama

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