Resorts World at Sentosa cuts expected visitor arrivals

Resorts World at Sentosa has cut its visitor arrivals forecast to 13 million visitors during its first year of operations, down from an earlier estimate of 15 million, due to the global financial meltdown.

The operator is also projecting a lowered 13 per cent internal rate of return for the integrated resort.

The resort is still very much a work in progress, but Resorts World at Sentosa said it expects two-thirds of its attractions and hotels to be completed by the first quarter of 2010.

These include the casino, which will be located at basement one, near the luxury Maxims Hotel.

Fittings will start in August for rides and shows at Universal Studios Singapore, including the 3,500-seater Waterworld and the world’s tallest duelling roller coasters.

Despite cutting back on expected visitors for the first year, Resorts World is confident of attracting the crowd as the economy improves.

Michael Chin, executive vice-president of projects at the Resorts World at Sentosa, said: “We take a bit of precaution at reviewing our numbers. But as the economy picks up, things turn up, I’m sure the numbers will look better for us.”

“Our focus is on the Asia market, within the seven-hour flight radius. We’re looking at markets like China and India.”

To complement the neighbouring shopping centre, Vivocity, Resorts World is in talks for niche tenants for its 500-metre stretch of retail, food and beverage outlets – also expected to be ready in early 2010.

So far, it has secured Malaysia’s luxury goods retailer Valiram, which owns the Jimmy Choo brand.

Construction for the second and final phase of Resorts World will start early next year, and is expected to be completed in two years. It will include two new hotels, a spa and a Marina Life Park.

Tenders have not been called, but Resorts World said it will keep construction costs within the overall S$6.6 billion budget.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Jun 2009

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