Friday, June 26, 2009

60% Of IR Will Be Ready

Source : The Straits Times, June 26, 2009

Casino and theme park to open in first quarter; fewer visitors expected due to tough economy

THE Sentosa integrated resort (IR) is all set to throw open its doors in the first quarter of next year - but visitors will not get to see the finished product.

Construction of the 49ha integrated resort on Sentosa is ongoing. When it opens early next year, the casino, the university Studios theme park, the theatre, four hotels as well as the retail and dining area are expected to be ready, but not other facilities such as the oceanarium. -- ST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG

When the resort opens, just 60 per cent of it will be ready: four hotels, the casino, the Universal Studios theme park, the theatre and the retail and dining area.

Construction of the other attractions at the 49ha resort - including the world's largest oceanarium, a marine museum and two more hotels - will begin next year and is slated for completion by 2012.

An ariel view of the 49ha Resorts World at Sentosa. The resort, which opens next year, is now expected to attract 12 million visitors in the first year, down from the 15 million forecast previously.

Giving an update on the progress of the IR yesterday, Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) executive vice-president of projects Michael Chin said some 80 per cent of construction for the first phase of the resort has been completed.

What remain to be done are exterior works and outfitting the rides for the theme park.

This should be completed by August.

Work has begun on the world's tallest duelling coaster ride, the 42.5m-high Battlestar Galactica Duelling Coaster. The red track offers a tamer ride while the blue track is for the more adventurous.

After that, the resort will be testing the rides and other amenities, and getting staff up to speed on operations.

Asked about prices for the rides, the resort's head of communications Krist Boo declined to give details. But she said that charges would be kept 'affordable' and that they would be competitive when compared with other theme parks.

The Waterworld Stunt Show amphitheatre is set to be the biggest of its kind in the world. It will be able to seat up to 3,500 spectators. The special-effects show, a big hit at the Orlando and Osaka theme parks, retells the story of the movie Waterworld and features men on jet skies, men set on fire and even a small sea plane landing in the arena.

She added that prices would be comparable and likely cheaper, dollar-for-dollar, than those at Universal Studios' other parks in Orlando and Osaka, where day passes go for US$70 (S$100) and 6,000 yen (S$90), respectively.

Ms Boo acknowledged that there are some clouds on the horizon for the IR.

Because of the tough economic times, the resort would have to slash its visitor forecast for the first year from 15 million to 12 million, she said.

Read the full story in Friday's edition of The Straits Times.

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