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ket,” he says. “There’s great play in this part of the world and we think we’re going to be in a great position, with a great city, to be able to attract players from around the region. “We’ve done this in other areas and we’re confident we’ll do it here.” But slot play is only the icing on the cake when compared to the dominance of

tables in Asia. Questions about how the VIP market would be handled were cleared up late last year when Singapore issued regulations that require the VIP operators that are active in Macau to be licensed—a situation not very likely. Marina Bay Sands was prepared for this outcome, and has built a solid in-house

international marketing department under the leadership of casino marketing veteran Steve Karoul. “We are not targeting the VIP operators at all,” Arasi says. “We are making a

direct appeal to the VIPs and we don’t plan to use any outside operators in our busi- ness model.” Leven says the VIP operators are not crucial to the success of the property. “We don’t expect the individuals we work with in Macau, and Genting works

with in Malaysia, will choose to go through the licensing process,” he says. “Some may, and we’ll do business with them when they get licensed. We have no plans, however, to urge the government in Singapore to change that process. We’re already working with VIPs individually.” When asked to speculate on how big the VIP market will be versus the mass

market, Leven claims to be as much in the dark as anyone. “What will the mix be between the VIPs and mass market?” he asks. “We don’t know. Will it be 50-50? No way of telling at this point. I think there will be a very

FOOD AS ART

As with all Las Vegas Sands properties, Marina Bay Sands has a stellar collection of celebrity chefs who will anchor an extensive collection of more than 50 food and bever- age outlets at the property. In Singapore, the integrated resort enters

a city that already has a reputation as a foodie destination. Like its culture, Singapore is a melting pot of all cuisines, with some unique creations available across the city. Marina Bay Sands brings together an

international roster of chefs who will craft restaurants as spectacular as their building. The flavors and creations of the restaurants will create an experience that matches the stunning edifice. The lineup includes (clock- wise from top) Tetsuya Wakuda (Waku Ghin), Wolfgang Puck (CUT), Daniel Bouland (DB Bistro Moderne), Santi Santamaria (Santi), Guy Savoy (Guy Savoy), and Singapore native Justin Quek (The Sky on 57).

strong mass market component with Malaysia and Indonesia, and we’ll have VIPs from China and Hong Kong, but the extent that happens, the amount they play and what falls down to the bottom line, we’re still guessing.” While both Arasi and Leven claim that the market will be big enough to

make both Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World successful, Leven says he believes Marina Bay Sands has an edge in the VIP market. “I think we have a better chance of capturing the VIP market considering

the aura of our property versus theirs,” he says. “But it’s going to be a while before we know.”

BUILDING EXCITEMENT

It is the facility that will set Marina Bay Sands apart from Resorts World. While Resorts World has more of a leisure feel—four different hotel styles, a Universal Theme Park and a world-class aquarium—Marina Bay Sands is set adjacent to Singapore’s business district, which will be linked with the hotel by a two-kilo- meter pedestrian walk rimming Marina Bay. The dynamics of the property combine business, entertainment, shopping and bringing the outdoors inside. Arasi says the building is incorporated into a city accustomed to spectacular

buildings. “Singapore already has an identity and some spectacular architecture,” he

says. “It’s got iconic projects. It’s got the new and the old. But everyone acknowledges this is very special and will be unique to Singapore and every other place in the world. It really stands out in what we believe will be the new postcard for Singapore.” As impressive as the exterior is, however, Arasi believes the property ramps

up the promise upon entering. “It is even more impactful when you see the inside of it,” he says. “It’s

extraordinary in architecture, design and appointment inside as well as outside. Everything is articulated and detailed. Everything has an atmosphere that will be very memorable and special. “When you look up it’s like a fabulous movie. You can see that movie 10 or

20 times and each time be amazed at how many new details you pick up and how fresh it stays. This facility is like a brand new great old movie. You’ll see it in the casino, the restaurant, the MICE facility, the theaters and the museum. Right now there is a lot of construction going on, but when it’s done, if you imagine a stage and a stage set, Marina Bay Sands is front and center. The financial district of Singapore is the audience, and you look out across the bay and we have the spotlight on us. We think it becomes the new anchor of Singapore. We are going to be the pedestrian epicenter of Singapore. Festival, street art, people watching… We are the center destination point for the pedes- trian walk around Marina Bay.” Like all LV Sands properties, the food-and-beverage offerings at Marina Bay

Sands (see sidebar, left) are truly special, accented by offerings from some of the finest chefs in the world. In a city already revered by people who appreciate fine cuisine, the Marina Bay Sands offerings simply widen the choices. “We think we link in well with what is already here in Singapore. We also

think that these names really put us on the radar screen of the ‘foodies’ and the ‘winies’ from all over the globe. We’ll be recognized by people who scour cities for unique dining experiences,” he says. For the shopper, Marina Bay Sands also extends the retail choices offered in

Singapore. The world-renowned Orchard Road shopping district is nearby, but Leven and Arasi are confident that the Marina Bay Sands retail offerings will do well.

“I have seen studies that if you look at Singapore’s retail inventory com-

pared to its population, as well as some metric of retail spend, Singapore is not one of the more developed retail markets,” Arasi explains. “It might seem that way because it is largely concentrated on Orchard Road and it seems like a lot more than it is. I think there is still substantial opportunity if you have a differ- ent and unique offering. We do. We have the only critical mass of retail that is

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