Monday, November 17, 2008

Resorts World Confirms IR Opening On Track

Source : The Business Times, November 17, 2008

A Singapore integrated resort (IR) developer confirmed on Monday that its project was on track for a phased opening beginning early in 2010.

'It hasn't changed,' a spokesman for Resorts World at Sentosa told AFP.

The spokesman, who declined to be named, was commenting after a minister said in parliament that the country's Genting International had sought government permission for the progressive opening.

'We've always said we will open in stages,' the spokesman said.

Last Thursday the Singapore Tourism Board said the city-state's other IR developer, Las Vegas Sands, had asked to open its Marina Bay Sands complex in stages instead of in one go at the end of next year.

The government is 'considering these requests by Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa with due reference to what they have committed', Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, told parliament.

'Even as we do so, our expectation remains that each development will open as an integrated resort, and not just as a stand-alone casino,' he added.

Mr Iswaran said Genting cited 'physical on-site constraints' for its progressive opening.

The development is to include a Universal Studios theme park, which the Resorts World spokesman said will require an on-site storage area while the rides are assembled. That accounts for the site constraints, he said.

But the theme park, casino, four hotels and a dining and shopping area are to open as scheduled in early 2010, he reiterated.

Other features of the project will open later, also as previously announced, he said.

Stephen Weaver, the head of Las Vegas Sands Asia, said last week that his company had run into construction difficulties in Singapore.

Las Vegas Sands has announced a halt to some developments in the southern Chinese gambling enclave of Macau due to trouble accessing credit during the global financial crisis.

But the company said completion of the Singapore project remains its top priority. Marina Bay Sands is to include hotel and convention facilities as well as gaming tables. -- AFP

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