Las Vegas Sands Managing Director – Global Development, George Tanasijevich, says any integrated resort the company builds in Yokohama should become an iconic part of the city skyline and a major contributor to the city economy, emulating Singapore IR Marina Bay Sands (MBS).
Tanasijevich, who is also President and CEO of MBS, made the comments during a presentation at a symposium held in the Japanese city last Thursday promoting the upcoming 1st Japan IR Expo in Yokohama, to be held at PACIFICO Yokohama on 29 and 30 January 2020.
Outlining LVS’ Japan vision, the veteran executive said, “I want to create entertainment not yet seen before. I want to make a Yokohama a place I want to visit over and over again.
“I want to build an iconic building like MBS. However, it should be a building completely different from MBS and other IRs. I want it to be unique, complementing and integrating with existing infrastructure.
“For that purpose, I want a Japanese partner and develop a business understanding of what is needed in the area. I hope to be a welcome presence and enjoy growth along with Japanese business.”
Las Vegas Sands is seen as a front-runner in the race for an integrated resort in Yokohama due largely to the enormous success of MBS in a market widely viewed by Japanese officials as the gold standard. The company’s proven track record in MICE in both Singapore and Las Vegas also works in its favor.
Tanasijevich said on Thursday that he envisioned a similar transformation taking place in Yokohama.
“Of course [Yokohama] is a famous tourist destination, but I think it has more potential in its sense of existence,” he said.
“I want to collaborate with residents and take it in the right direction. Perhaps we will all be able to see the results we have achieved in Singapore. I want to use that experience to create an amazing IR in Yokohama.”
Addressing concerns over the impact a new, large-scale hotel development could have on local businesses, Tanasijevich said LVS expected its IR to benefit rather than hinder the local community.
“Since we will be creating a new industry, even if we build a new hotel as part of that, there is no competition with local hotels,” he said.
“That’s because the hotel we create will not be enough. Normally, customers will flow into existing local facilities. I believe it will be the same in Yokohama.”