The competition in Singapore heated up last month as one of two casinos changed horses in the homestretch, and the other seems to have entered the homestretch in the lead.
As the opening of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore approaches, Las Vegas Sands last week jettisoned its two top executives overseeing the project and brought in replacements with no gaming experience.
Leaving are President Nigel Roberts and Vice President Tony Cousens. Both have spent less than a year with MBS-Roberts arriving last January and Cousens in April. Their departures may be related to March’s upheaval, which saw LVS President and COO Bill Weidner and Executive Vice President Brad Stone leave the company after conflicts with Chairman Sheldon Adelson.
Replacing Roberts and Cousens are two hotel executives with little gaming experience. Thomas Arasi, formerly chief executive of hotel operator Lodigian Inc., is the new president and chief executive officer. Ronen Nissenbaum will be the new executive vice president for operations. He was the regional vice president of operations in North America for the Intercontinental Hotels Group. Arasi has already started and Nissenbaum was expected to start by the end of August.
MBS is scheduled to open in early 2010.
On the other side of town, Resorts World may be ready to open by the end of the year, giving the property a big advantage over Marina Bay Sands. The project being developed by Genting of Malaysia has been accelerating the pace of construction, giving company executives confidence they could open the doors late this year, rather than early next year, reported CIMB Investment Bank.
Resorts World carries a price tag of US$4.5 billion, while MBS is clocking in at $5.4 billion.