Kerzner to put world’s top aquarium in Singapore casino

Singapore (Reuters) – Bahamas-based casino operator Kerzner International plans the world’s biggest aquarium, stocked with beluga whales and manta rays, as part of its SGD 5.28 billion (USD 3.33 billion) bid to build Singapore’s second casino resort.

Tobin Prior, president of Kerzner’s international division, said that with 24.2 million gallons of aquatic attractions at the proposed entertainment complex on the resort island of Sentosa, it would be bigger than SeaWorld Adventure Parks in Florida, which is currently the largest water-based theme park with 19 million gallons.

„It’s about celebrating the sea but bringing technology to enhance the experience,“ he told a media briefing on Tuesday.

The aquarium will have a mixture of live marine animals and robotic aquatic creatures, which can be seen from underwater viewing tunnels.

Kerzner and its 40-percent partner CapitaLand have hired architect Frank Gehry, whose design for the resort consists of two glass-and-steel structures that undulate like billowing sails.

Other attractions include the world’s largest jellyfish enclosure as well as a man-made coral reef.

Kerzner’s Chief Executive Howard Kerzner died last Wednesday when a helicopter carrying the 42-year-old crashed in the Dominican Republic.

His father, Sol Kerzner, was in Singapore on Monday to present the concept to Singapore officials.

The Kerzner-CapitaLand consortium is competing against two other bidders for the project.

Malaysia’s Genting Bhd , which is bidding through affiliates Genting International and cruise operator Star Cruises Ltd. , has promised to invest at least USD 3.1 billion in its proposal, to include roller-coaster rides by entertainment giant Universal Studios .

A consortium led by resort builder Mark Advent that includes Mississippi-based Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. , Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL) and Melco International Development has submitted a USD 3.5-billion proposal.

The Kerzner-CapitaLand alliance is scheduled to make a second presentation to Singapore officials in late November and the project will be awarded by the end of the year.