SINGAPORE: A hotel with 700 rooms plus a large new retail space is in the works at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino resort for a revamp that just got a S$2.3 billion boost.

The revamp began during the COVID-19 pandemic and was originally budgeted at S$4.5 billion. It was meant to refresh non-gaming spots at RWS. Its budget has since been upped to S$6.8 billion due to the new additions to the renovations. Forbes reported on Nov 14 that the funding will come from internal resources.

Genting Singapore’s executive chairman is Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, whose net worth Forbes says is US$2.1 billion (S$2.8 billion). The tycoon chairs the casino, resort, and palm oil conglomerate Genting Group, which has businesses in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, the UK, the US, and the Bahamas.

A new sculpture designed by the British architectural firm Heatherwick Studio will be featured on the waterfront as a major part of the revamp, scheduled from 2024 to 2031. The company said the renovations “will transform Singapore’s skyline and form a monumental gateway to RWS and the new Greater Southern Waterfront precinct.”

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“We are confident that this investment will firmly anchor RWS as the most sought-after tourism destination in Asia, and propel the group’s strong future growth,” Forbes quotes Genting Singapore as saying.

Rebound tourism has seen hotel room prices in Singapore surging this year, which has spelled good news for Genting’s 1,600 rooms across five hotels at RSW. The new retail space has a gross floor area of 21,243 square meters, based on preliminary approvals released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The company’s big spending boost aligns with Genting Singapore CEO Tan Hee Teck’s remarks from last April at its Annual General Meeting: “We must reposition ourselves by catering to the wealthier market segment of visitors. We have to transform ourselves to be a better product.”

Earlier this week, because of the company’s better-than-expected third-quarter earnings for this year, its share price went up by more than seven per cent, landing at 94 cents.

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Genting Singapore’s net profit increased 59 per cent to S$216.3 million for the third quarter of the year due to higher revenues from its gaming and non-gaming streams. This caused Maybank to up the company’s full-year 2023 net profit estimate by 12 per cent to S$712 million.

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