Saturday, October 14, 2006

Resorts World at Sentosa?

It's down to a three-horse race for the second casino licence in Singapore. The three remaining contenders for the Sentosa Integrated Resort site are Genting International-Star Cruises-Universal Studios; Kerzner International-CapitaLand; and Eighth Wonder. As expected, Harrah's and partner Keppel Land dropped out of the race after they failed to clinch the Marina Bay site.

Dad is betting on frontrunner Genting to win the tender with its S$5-billion bid and concept. Dad had correctly picked underdog Las Vegas Sands to clinch the first casino site at Marina Bay.

Genting founder Lim Goh Tong (inset) during his younger days and the hill-top resort, which straddles the border of the Malaysian states of Selangor and Pahang

But dad doesn't quite like the proposed name of Resorts World at Sentosa, which is based on the name of its highland resorts in Malaysia. Why? Simply because few will see Resorts World in Malaysia as a classy place.

The Malaysian casino, built in the 1960s, was designed to draw the mass market. Last year, the Malaysian casino attracted nearly 19 million visitors. In comparison, the Sentosa casino is designed to woo 10 million people by 2015.

The Singapore model has to be different, as Genting has teamed up with a big name like Universal Studios. In other words, the Singapore branding has to be more upmarket lah!

PS: Winner of the project will be announced by the end of the year.

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