Resort at three-quarter mark

First batch of hotel rooms will be ready by August

COME year-end, Marina Bay Sands will usher visitors in to at least half of the property’s gross floor area.

That was the assurance given for Singapore’s first integrated resort, although Marina Bay Sands executives yesterday stopped short of revealing an opening date.

The project is already three-quarters completed, they said, during a press tour for some 40 journalists.

“Everyone at Marina Bay Sands is working aggressively towards our target opening date. This is our total focus and we are confident of delivering on all fronts,” said Marina Bay Sands president Nigel Roberts in a statement.

The crowning glory of Marina Bay Sands is the roof garden atop the three hotel towers – which have now hit the halfway mark of between 26 and 28 floors.

From end-August, 4,000 tonnes of steel beams will be hauled 200m skywards to build the 340m-long, 38m-wide sky park. When completed, the park will have three linked 50m swimming pools to provide a 146m-long infinity edge overlooking the city.

Building the park‚s 66m cantilever – the longest in the world – will be an engineering feat, said senior vice-president of construction (Asia) Matthew Pryor. He said it takes 18 hours to lift each steel beam.

The hotel towers, which feature a vertical west wall and an arched east wall each, will now enter a comparatively simpler construction phase. Progress will be more “rapid”, Mr Pryor said.

Between now and July, the hotel towers will rise by at least five storeys each month to reach its eventual 55 floors.


From the 21st floor of Marina Bay Sands‚ hotel tower 1, company officials gave a show-and-tell update of the progress of each structure on its grounds – including the four-storey casino building, the 120,000 sq m Expo and Convention Centre, the ArtScience Museum, and two theatres.

Four of the five storeys at the convention centre are complete, and work is underway on the top floor, which will house a grand ballroom. Much of the casino structure is also done.

Journalists also got a peek of the views some of the 2,600 hotel rooms will have – the CBD skyline and the Marina Barrage.

Interior fitting-out of some hotel rooms have begun, said Mr Pryor. The first batch will be ready by August.

About 90 per cent of the construction costs have been locked in, said Marina Bay Sands general manager George Tanasijevich. The eventual cost of the entire project will be US$5.4 billion ($8.4 billion).

Parent company Las Vegas Sands lost94 per cent of its market value last year amid a plunge in gaming revenues in Las Vegas and Macau. The company suspended all development works in Macau and its St Regis condominium on the Las Vegas strip to focus on its resort in Singapore and Bethlehem.

– Construction of Marina Bay Sands goes on round-the-clock, with 7,500 workers on-site at any time.

– The length of the sky park is approximately the height of the Eiffel Tower, and the cantilever alone can fit an A380 aircraft.

– The three swimming pools, which contain about 1.6 million litres of water altogether, are the world‚s largest outdoor pools.

– Marina Bay Sands is spending over $50 million on artwork to be displayed on its property.

– 40 per cent of the Marina Bay Sands project is underground.

Source : Today – 5 Mar 2009

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