On Tuesday (April, 25th), as Dubai welcomed the much awaited Armani Hotel, Singapore celebrated the opening of the world’s second most expensive casino on its soil. The casino is part of a $5.5 billion complex built by US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands and is the second one in Singapore (the first, $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa opened on 14 February).
Marina Bay Sands, located next to the financial district, opened at the locally auspicious time of 3:18 pm. Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson and other company officials snipped the celebratory ribbon and with it, Marina Bay Sands, the most ambitious and architecturally stunning leisure and convention facility ever built opened its doors and welcomed its first guests.
The casino resort is expected to generate $1billion per year! Tuesday’s opening included the casino and 963 out of 2,560 hotel rooms, a portion of the shopping mall, some restaurants, an exhibition centre and the events plaza. The remaining parts of the structure including a skypark and more shops will open on June 23, while a museum, theatres and other stores are slated to begin operations later in the year.
Marina Bay Sands hotel will be comprised of three 55 storey towers. The three towers will be connected with a one hectare roof sky park offering 360-degree views of Singapore’s skyline and featuring beautifully sculptured gardens, restaurants and a swimming pool.
The new Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts, which opened its doors to the public on April 27, also launched its new art path on Wednesday. This ‘path’ is in fact a display of seven large-scale art insallations by five internationally renowned artists, carefully handpicked by world famous architect Mr Moshe Safdie, the designer of the iconic Marina Bay Sands. These pieces are one of the few art works situated within the property. The total worth of public art situated in Marina Bay Sands is around S$40 million to $50 million and is part of the government’s plan to integrate art in the central area of Singapore.
Singapore officials hope the Marina Bay Sands help to achieve a target of attracting 17 million visitors a year generating over 21 billion US dollars by 2015. With growing competition from its neighboring nations, I wonder if Singapore will achieve this ambitious growth target.