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connected to a wide range of other experiential components. It’s attached to our hotel, casino and meeting facilities with tens of thousands of trade show dele- gates. It’s attached to our 55 restaurants, bars and related food-and-beverage out- lets. It’s attached to the theater and that traffic. It’s attached to the new pedestrian walkway around Marina Bay. Furthermore, our space, without question, is going to be most dramatic and interesting retail space in Singapore. The soaring atri- ums, the glass walls, world-class architecture with views of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay. And the best part, unlike Orchard Road, you get to walk around in air-conditioned space.” The LV Sands model for retail is strong, and Leven says it should work in

Singapore to the benefit of the company. “We expect that Singapore tourism is going to go up by 30 percent,” he says.

“It’s inconceivable to me that tourists will not visit Marina Bay Sands, and then they’ll be visiting the retail as well. As the economy gets better in that part of the world, it’s bound to do well. But at the end of the day, if it does great, that’s great but if it does OK, that’s OK. It’s not critical to the success of the property.” At the same time, the sale of the mall to a third party is a distinct possibility,

since that occurred in Las Vegas and has been floated in Macau. “Sheldon’s model of the attraction of the mall I think will work,” says Leven.

“After a three-year period, we have the right to sell that mall, but our expectation is that we’ll pay off all of our debt with that.”

MEETING PRIORITIES

One business that Las Vegas Sands knows intimately is the convention business. The company was born in Las Vegas on the premise that meetings and conven- tions will fill hotel rooms and the casino on the less-busy midweek days. The company is counting on Singapore to do the same, but it has been slow to ramp up, according to Leven. “Honestly, I would have liked to see more business on the books than we

have right now,” he says. “I think the nature of the facility being built over three to four years has caused meeting planners to delay making any commitments. But over the past few months, bookings have really picked up. Eventually, we’ll own the MICE business in this town. Once the publicity starts and people begin to realize what we have here, I think we’ll have plenty of business. I told my sales

www.ggbmagazine.com • May 2010

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