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 S$8 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 (121,000 m2) convention-exhibition centre, the 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, an iconic ArtScience 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 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m. The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects. The local architect of record was Aedas Singapore, and 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 was officially opened with a two-day celebration on 23 June 2010 at 3.18 pm, after a partial opening (which included the casino) on 27 April 2010. The SkyPark opened a day later on 24 June 2010. The theatres were completed in time for the first performance by Riverdance on 30 November 2010. The floating pavilions are still being built and are expected to be fully completed by 2011. The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December 2010. 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 September 2011 and 22 September 2011 respectively.