Friday, February 09, 2007

Las Vegas Sands eyes Asian expansion

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS), the owner-developer of Singapore’s first integrated resort (IR), is looking at other Asian countries for future expansion.

Chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson said India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam offered good business opportunities.

He said the company’s Asian expansion programme would largely depend on whether the respective governments would welcome such a project.

“The gaming market is growing in Asia and we see there could be at least 10 Las Vegas-style resorts coming up in the near future,” Adelson said at the construction commencement ceremony of the S$5bil The Marina Bay Sands at the Marina Bayfront development.

Expected to open in 2009, the IR would have 2,500 five-star hotel rooms, 1.2 million sq for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) 1 million sq ft for retail, food and beverage, and entertainment outlets including a casino.

From left: Sheldon Adelson, Dr Miriam Adelson, William Weidner and Lynn Weidner looking at the model of the Marina Bay Sands at the construction commencement ceremony yesterday. - ZAZALI MUSA/StarBiz
The Marina Bay Sands IR is one of the world’s largest investments for a single IR and by 2015, it is expected to contribute an additional S$2.7bil to Singapore’s gross domestic product.

Adelson said LVS would market the project as “a destination with style” that offered MICE-entertainment-dining-gaming under one roof.

He said the project sent a strong signal to other countries in Asia that Singapore was going to transform its tourism-related industry and emerge as a leading global player.

“We want to position Singapore as the MICE market leader in Asia and we are confident of doing that,” said Adelson.

LVS president and chief operating officer William Weidner said the Singapore project would not compete with the company’s Sands Macao Casino in Macao.

He said Macao was a casino-based business whereas a casino was just one of the elements in The Marina Bay Sands IR which offered more than gaming.

Weidner said the two resorts would complement each other with Macao targeting the mainland Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets.

He said its Singapore resort would target tourists from the South-East Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, and those from the Indian sub-continent.

Weidner said the company had received good response from international retailers and Asian tour operators who were keen to market the project.

He said to date, the company had received interest from more than 250 prospective tenants and was also negotiating with 15 international organisations on hosting events up to 2013 at The Marina Bay Sands.

Source : STAR
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