Resorts World Sentosa: possibly is the best employer in Singapore?

I think it's not just a matter of a special lump sum payment for those RWS employees who toil during the festive period of Chinese New Year. It must have been more than that. The managers must have been able to motivate their workforce to work on.

Well done, Resort World Sentosa. You've set the standard. Many are wondering now how the other IR in Singapore, MBS treat their employees? (Especially interesting to note that recently Marina Bay Sands (MBS) chief executive officer Thomas Arasi has quit his job to "take a breather" and spend more time with his family.)

It is all hands on deck for staff at Singapore's two integrated resorts, to handle the thousands of visitors over the Lunar New Year holiday.

Resorts World Sentosa has come up with a special lump sum payment for staff, over and above the overtime pay they will get for putting in extra hours during this festive period.

MediaCorp understands that more than 3,000 staff stand to benefit from this one-off payment.

There is more to the two integrated resorts at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa than just the casinos.

Marina Bay Sands said the first day of the Lunar New year saw more than 235,000 visitors passing through the different attractions of the sprawling complex, including the shopping mall and the food and beverage outlets.

A spokesman for Marina Bay Sands added that The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands was the one of the few retail destinations that opened throughout the Lunar New Year.

He added that the grand dining options at celebrity chef restaurants and fine-dining Chinese restaurants - boasting traditional fare over the festive period - also made Marina Bay Sands a destination of choice.

The Sands SkyPark, 200 metres above ground, with breathtaking views of the Singapore skyline and the fireworks displays over the weekend, was another popular venue for visitors from Singapore and around the world.

Meanwhile, Resorts World Sentosa said that nearly 150,000 people have visited its attractions over the Lunar New Year holidays.

At Resorts World Sentosa, every effort has been made to encourage as many staff as possible to return during the long Lunar New Year holidays, to ensure that all operations proceed smoothly.

One such programme is called the X'tras Programme, where corporate staff - nearly 500 of them - have volunteered to come back and ensure that all operations proceed with clockwork precision.

Resorts World Sentosa said employees have been highly motivated by the large crowds and they have all turned up on time to ensure that the various outlets function effectively.

Last year's experience in handling the crowds has also been useful, especially in planning for the dietary needs of visitors.

Roger Linehard, senior vice president for food & beverage and rooms at Resorts World Sentosa, said: "We planned over the last two months based on the history we had when we opened last year. Second, we knew we are going to be full from the hotels, (with) 100 per cent occupancy. We know that...the Universal Studios Singapore (will be) full and the casinos as well, so we have split up the food and beverage component into three components - the casino component, the USS component and the hotel component.

"The hotels have been very successful. We do nearly 500 breakfasts in every restaurant. We do one to one and a half turns for lunch and at least two turns for dinner in our Chinese restaurant, up to three and a half turns. And the Universal Studios - with the amount of crowds that we have now - we will do at least 20,000 meals, just in Universal Studios alone."

Separately, the casinos at both the integrated resorts saw bigger crowds turning up on the second day of the Lunar New Year.

Resorts World Sentosa believes the eateries near its casino would have catered to at least 25,000 visitors on Friday.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Over 3,000 RWS staff to receive special one-off payment for LNY".

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) chief executive officer Thomas Arasi has quit his job to "take a breather" and spend more time with his family.

Mr Arasi, who is in his early 50s, will resign with effect from Tuesday - some 18 months after he took up the role.

In an internal memo seen by MediaCorp, Mr Arasi said: "At this point, I have decided to pause, take a breather and spend more time with my daughter and other family."

He added: "Therefore, I will be resigning my position effective Feb 1, 2011. I will undertake my regular duties on site through Feb 18."

An MBS spokesperson confirmed Mr Arasi's departure when contacted by MediaCorp.

Quoting an unnamed person "with direct knowledge of the situation", Dow Jones Newswires reported that Mr Arasi had faced "a lot of pressure" with MBS' opening in April last year and from the Singapore Casino Regulatory Authority. The source added that Mr Arasi's lack of casino experience further complicated matters.

Dow Jones pointed out that his departure follows the sacking in July of Mr Steve Jacobs, chief executive of the Las Vegas Sands' (LVS) Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Sands China, which runs casinos and resorts in Macau.

Mr Arasi was appointed the first president and CEO of MBS in August 2009.

In October last year, MBS reported net revenue of US$485.9 million ($622 million) in its first full quarter of operation. LVS chairman Sheldon Adelson said then that MBS' earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisation was the best first quarter ever for any of Sands' resorts.

From Today, "MBS CEO quits".