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Marina Bay Sands on Track to Open in 2009October 23, 2008 By: Mark Rogers
An aerial shot of the future site of the Marina Bay Sands resort
Marina Bay Sands is a huge waterfront project that is getting big buzz at ITB Asia, with many predicting it will have a transformative effect on Singapore’s tourism profile. Marina Bay Sands comprises meeting space, hotels, shops, restaurants, casino, as well as architectural flourishes that will likely become iconic emblems of Singapore’s skyline. I was especially impressed by the 2.47-acres rooftop Sky Park— complete with restaurants and a swimming pool— that will lay atop the project's three hotel towers. The Sky Park will have both a public area and an area limited to hotel and restaurant guests.
“The towers will top out next year and we’ll open by the end of 2009,” says George Tanasijevich, vice president of Singapore development and general manager of Marina Bay Sands Singapore
Marina Bay Sands is poised to capture a big chunk of the groups and conventions market and its Expo & Convention Centre will total more than 1,291,699 square feet with approximately 2,000 exhibition booths and 200 meeting rooms.
“We’re trying to bring something new to this market in the sense of an integrated resort,” says Tanasijevich. “We wanted to build in Singapore because it’s clean and orderly and runs well. It’s all of that, but it’s an exciting destination as well.”
Tanasijevich claims that the development will have the largest ballroom in Asia, with banquet seating capacity for at least 6,600 persons. There will also be an outdoor Event Plaza along the project’s promenade that can accommodate up to 10,000.
It’s a huge project and, at one time during the construction, Marina Bay Sands was using 50 percent of the cranes in Singapore. “It’s a single development phase of production— we won’t stop until we’re finished,” says Tanasijevich.
A scale model of the Marina Bay Sands resort
The project will have three hotels with over 2,600 rooms and suites “Because of the curvature of the towers, you don’t get a cookie cutter situation,” says Tanasijevich. “There will be a contemporary feel to the rooms, with sea views and views from balconies."
Marina Bay Sands will also have an ArtScience Museum with a lotus-inspired design. It’s a truly unique architectural achievement and will make a great addition to Singapore’s efforts to bring a more playful aspect to the city, which in the past seemed over-controlling. It’s an effort that is summed up by a statement I saw on a flyer, “…as Singaporeans progress from a better life to a better lifestyle.”
“Marina Bay Sands will be pitched to the higher end of the market, with high end retail and posh rooms,” says Tanasijevich. “We’ll be focusing in the North American market, plus Australia, the Middle East, Thailand and other important markets in Asia.”