|by JD Rinne||Singapore||49|
Singapore, a gambling town? The formerly prim British colony, which famously banned chewing gum, has been loosening up in recent years. One huge new project scheduled for completion in late 2009 is the Marina Bay Sands.
It's what you'd expect from the people who brought you Vegas's flashy Venetian and Palazzo resorts: The project will have more than one million square feet of convention space, about 2,600 hotel rooms, a lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum, and two theaters that seat 2,000 people each.
To top it all off, Singapore's first casino is also included in the mix, emulated in the style of Vegas. We can just hear the Elvis impersonators singing "Jailhouse Rock" in Malay now.
The $3.5 billion project's three hotel towers will have a linked rooftop sky park boasting a swimming pool and a 360-degree view of the city. But resist the urge to spit off the top; Singapore has a fine for that.