Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sentosa To Review Transport Links In Time For IR

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 6, 2008

New chief also plans to create fresh masterplan and ensure smooth opening for attractions

THE new chief of Sentosa said the resort island is evaluating its transport network to make sure it can handle the hordes of visitors expected to accompany the opening of its integrated resort (IR) in 2010.

Mr Mike Barclay said the island's cable cars, buses, skytrains and roads would be examined to ensure they can accommodate up to 15 million people a year.

Sentosa's new chief Mr Barclay with visitors (from right) Mitchel Toh, eight; Clara Sim, seven; and Ms Chan Pye Lin, 37. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE

He said: 'The opening of the IR will bring many challenges for areas like infrastructure. We must make sure we can handle the capacity.'

Mr Barclay, who became Sentosa's chief last month, was speaking for the first time about his outlook for the island. Along with re-evaluating the transport grid, Mr Barclay hopes to create a new 10-year masterplan and see several new beach attractions open next year.

When it opens in the first quarter of 2010, Resorts World at Sentosa is expected to more than double the six million people who visit the area annually. It will include attractions such as Asia's first Universal Studio and a Marine Life Park with whale sharks.

Two weeks into the job, the 41-year-old said he is unable to give more concrete plans on what he intends to do. He took over from Mr Darrell Metzger, who quit last April.

However, Mr Barclay said he wants to 'enrich a very good model that we have here'.

His short-term goal is to make sure four new attractions slated to open on Siloso Beach by next year do so smoothly.

The beach will have a new zipline, a sky diving simulator and a machine that creates waves up to 3m high for surfers. It is also expected to feature a watersports centre that will have food and beverage outlets as well as various sea sports.

Mr Barclay is also working on a new 10-year masterplan for the development of the island after the last masterplan spearheaded by his predecessor was completed earlier this year. Mr Metzger was credited with turning around the island's fortunes, reviving lagging visitor numbers and lacklustre attractions.

The new masterplan is expected to be up by the end of the year. Mr Barclay said: 'It is an exciting time ahead for us.'

However, one hotel project that was supposed to have opened on the island this year has stalled. The $45 million Palawan Beach Resort by NTUC Club is back on the drawing board amid rocketing land construction costs.

The 200-room resort was announced three years ago as a high-end hotel for the working class.

A NTUC Club spokesman said it is 'reviewing the concept and plans of the resort' to ensure that it will 'serve our social mission to provide an affordable social and recreational facility for our members and the masses'.

No comments: