Sands lands Singapore resort bid

Marina Bay project planned

SINGAPORE — Las Vegas Sands is the successful bidder for the Marina Bay Integrated Resort, the first of two such projects in the city-state.

It was a surprise victory over front-runners Harrah’s Entertainment and MGM Mirage, both of which had teamed with local partners (Keppel Land and CapitaLand, respectively). Fourth bidder, Genting Intl./Star Cruises, is tipped to pick up the Sentosa IR project.

The Marina Bay IR bid process launched Nov. 15 and closed March 29.

Ministerial committee evaluating the four proposals was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Professor S. Jayakumar. “All four proposers submitted very strong proposals, which reflected their commitment to developing a truly outstanding integrated resort in Singapore. Sands had submitted the best overall proposal that meets our economic and tourism objectives.”

Marina Bay Sands is expected to stimulate an additional $1.7 billion (or approximately 0.8%) to Singapore’s annual gross domestic product and generate 30,000 jobs throughout the economy by 2015.

“Sands’ expertise and excellent track record in MICE” (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) was cited by the Singapore Tourism Board as key to its success.

Marina Bay’s proximity to the downtown Central Business District made the business sector a primary target.

With total gambling space capped at only 15,000 square meters, plans for Marina Bay Sands include two 2,000-seat theaters, an art/science museum, luxury retail outlets, floating restaurants and an ice-skating rink.

The tourism board said, “Sands has demonstrated its capability in developing and operating large, successful IRs from the ground up, such as the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, which also houses the Sands Expo & Convention Center. In Asia, Sands played a key role in developing the master plan for the Cotai strip in Macau.”

Sands also committed to the highest development investment proffering a total spend of more than $3 billion — one of the largest in the world for a single IR.

Sentosa IR places more emphasis on tourism and family attractions. Proposal deadline is Oct. 10, with the successful bid to be announced before year’s end. Harrah’s Entertainment and Keppel Land; Kerzner Intl. and CapitaLand; Eighth Wonder Asia; Genting Intl. and Star Cruises; and Sun Intl. are expected to bid.

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