Sands plans phased opening for Singapore resort - Wednesday 9th of December 2009

800 to 1,000 hotel rooms seen opening late March.

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N) expects to open its $5.5 billon, 2,700-room Singapore casino resort in phases starting in the first quarter of next year, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

He declined to give a specific date for the opening -- which will include 800 to 1,000 hotel rooms -- but a source close to the company said it would be "toward the end of March."

The first phase of the project will also include the casino, some of the retail operations and some of the meeting and convention space, said spokesman Ron Reese.

Sands said in July that it was making every effort to open the triple-tower property, called Marina Bay Sands, by February 15, 2010.

The company is now in the process of raising segments of the resorts "sky park" -- a 1,200-foot-long (360-meter) span running across the top of the three 55-story hotel towers.

Half of the 14 segments are in place.

About 60 days after the opening of the projects first phase, Sands aims to open the remainder of the hotel rooms, additional retail space and the sky park, Reese said.

By the end of 2010, the company expects the rest of the attractions, including the theaters and museum, to open. ((Reporting by Deena Beasley, deena.beasley@thomsonreuters.com;

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