SINGAPORE: The US$3.3 billion expansion of Marina Bay Sands will be completed in 2026, one year after an original 2025 deadline, according to parent company Las Vegas Sands.
A US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) renovation of Marina Bay Sands' hotel properties was also announced by Las Vegas Sands CEO and chairman Rob Goldstein at an earnings call last Thursday (Jan 27).
Las Vegas Sands president and COO Patrick Dumont said the company had decided to reinvest in the hotel while it was experiencing "downtime" to enhance the quality of its suites and amenities.
"This will address some of the goals that have been laid out by the Singapore Tourism Board and the Government there, as well as help us address and grow our business in high value tourism," he said.
When asked about potential disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has delayed construction projects, Mr Goldstein said the renovation was "moving at a really good pace".
Mr Dumont added that the renovation works were likely to take two years due to the supply of labour and materials.
CONFIDENCE IN RECOVERY
Mr Goldstein said the company's confidence in long-term opportunities in Singapore remains "deep", citing demand for the vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) as a positive indication of recovery.
"It's a real predictor of what's going to happen when (Singapore) opens back up. Hopefully, we see it in the first half of the year," he said.
"It's a shame. I think we had a real, a positive momentum going that got crushed by the Omicron concerns."
VTL quotas have been halved since Jan 21, after new ticket sales were frozen from Dec 23 to Jan 20 over fears about the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
With important source markets for tourists opening up, Mr Goldstein added there was hope for a "big bounce" in Singapore.
Earnings of the casino and resort developer, which also owns properties in Macao and Las Vegas, continued to be affected by group size and travel restrictions during the pandemic in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Marina Bay Sands reported an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) gain of US$177 million in the last quarter, a 22.9 per cent increase from 2020.
Net revenue was US$368 million for the quarter, up 6.7 per cent from the preceding year.
For the full year in 2021, Marina Bay Sands reported US$1.37 billion in net revenue, up from US$1.26 billion the year before.
The expansion of Singapore's two integrated resorts – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa – was announced in 2019. Worth a combined S$9 billion, it is almost two-thirds their initial S$15 billion investment in 2006.
The resorts' commitment to expand their non-gaming components was in exchange for the extension of the exclusivity period for their two casino licences until end-2030, then Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said at the time.
The US$3.3. billion expansion of Marina Bay Sands will feature a performance arena, a fourth tower featuring about 1,000 hotel rooms, a sky roof with a swimming pool and a restaurant. There will also be new ballrooms, exhibition halls and luxury retailers.
Resorts World Sentosa will develop two new attractions at Universal Studios Singapore, named Minion Park and Super Nintendo World, as well as an expanded aquarium, a new waterfront lifestyle complex and two new hotels.