Marina Bay Sands is an Integrated Resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at $4 billion, including cost of the prime land.With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 1,300,000-square-foot (120,000 m2) convention-exhibition centre, the 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) The Soppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340-metre-long (1,120 ft) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150-metre (490 ft) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 metres (220 ft).The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects.The architect was Aedas and they were responsible for employing all local consultants and for developing, co-ordinating and implementing the design. Engineering was provided by Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff (MEP). The main contractor was Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.
Originally set to open in 2009, Las Vegas Sands faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the onset. The severe global financial crisis also pressured the company to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort. Although Marina Bay Sands has been compared on scale and development costs to MGM’s CityCenter, the latter is a mixed-use development, with condominium properties (comprising three of the seven main structures) being sold off.
The resort and SkyPark were officially opened on 23 and 24 June 2010 as part of a two-day celebration, following the casino’s opening on 27 April that year. The SkyPark opened the following day. The theatres were completed in time for the first performance of Riverdance on 30 November. The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December. The ArtScience Museum opened to the public and the debut of a 13-minute light, laser and water spectacle called Wonder Full on 19 February 2011 marked the full completion of the entire Integrated Resort.
The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011. It also marked the opening of the seven celebrity chef restaurants. The highly anticipated Broadway musical The Lion King debuted on 3 March 2011.The last portion of the Marina Bay Sands, the floating pavilions, were finally opened to the public when the two tenants, Louis Vuitton and Pangaea Club, opened on 18 and 22 September 2011 respectively.
Marina Bay Sands is one of two winning proposals for Singapore’s first Integrated Resorts, the other being the Resorts World Sentosa, which incorporates a family-friendly Universal Studios Theme Park. The two large-scale resorts were conceived to meet Singapore’s economic and tourism objectives for the next decade and they will have 30-year casino licenses, exclusive for the first ten years.
Bidders were assessed based on four criteria:
tourism appeal and contribution
architectural concept and design
strength of the consortium and partners
The infinity edge swimming pool in the Skypark.
On 27 May 2006, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was declared winner of the Marina Bay site in the prime new business district of Marina South with its business-oriented resort. LVS highlighted its forte in Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE), of which its founder, Sheldon Adelson, is a pioneer in Las Vegas and the key to his early business success. In the Design Evaluation portion of the tender, a panel of local and international architects commended Sands’ design as superior to other bids in terms of pedestrian circulation and layout, and it also fit in with the Marina Bay landscape best. They liked that the hotel towers were set back from the waterfront to open up expansive views of the city and the entire Marina Bay, making the skyline for Singapore’s downtown more attractive and distinctive.
Singapore Tourism Board highlighted Sands’ line-up of six celebrity chefs, such as Tetsuya Wakuda, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali.
LVS submitted its winning bid on its own. Its original partner City Developments Limited (CDL), with a proposed 15% equity stake, pulled out of the partnership in the second phase of the tender process. CDL’s CEO, Kwek Leng Beng said his company’s pullout was a combination of factors – such as difficulties in getting numerous companies he owns to comply in time, as well as reluctance of some parties to disclose certain private information in probity checks required by the Singapore government.However, Kwek was retained as an advisor for Sands’ bid.