Four new water and sports centres will open along Siloso Beach on Sentosa next year. -ST
Sentosa may not be known as a surfing destination. Beach parties, yes. Waves, no.
But next year, fun-seekers can gear up and surf on the barrelling waves at a new wavepool attraction near Cafe del Mar bar at Siloso Beach on the western shoreline of Sentosa.
The $15-million pool is set to thrill beachgoers with its artificial waves programmed to reach as high as 3m.
The 7,650 sq m open-air attraction, which will incorporate restaurants and retail shops specialising in boardsport gear, is expected to be completed by next June.
This is one of four new attractions that will sprout along the 1.5km Siloso Beach next year ahead of the Resorts World at Sentosa integrated resort which is due to open in early 2010.
The new attractions are part of Sentosa's efforts to diversify its lifestyle offerings along its bustling 3.2km-long beach, which includes Siloso beach, Tanjong Beach and Palawan Beach.
The fun isle, connected to Singapore by road and a train service from HarbourFront, currently has seven beach bars, including KM8 at Tanjong Beach. It also has five visitor attractions, such as Animal & Bird Encounters at Palawan Beach and Songs of the Sea, a multimedia show, at Siloso Beach.
Two of the upcoming attractions are expected to be completed by next March, including the Azzura Hydro Sports Centre, now under construction.
Spanning 1,870 sq m on two levels, the lifestyle complex near outdoor event hall Emerald Pavilion will have boating and watersports, such as wakeboarding and banana boat rides.
Facilities will include a health bar and cafe, and an outdoor spa and gym.
Sentosa Leisure Group (SLG), which is the overall operator of Sentosa, and co-investor of Azzura and the wavepool attractions, says there are also plans to include a fleet of charter boats at Azzura.
Mr Goh Lye Whatt, SLG's director (property, planning & development), tells LifeStyle: 'The new wave of developments will bring the beach culture to a new level. Beachgoers can look forward to a different experience at these attractions.'
The other attraction due for completion by March is the $3-million Zipline & High Rope Course. The group would only reveal that it will be operated by a foreign investor.
The treetop attraction will start its 400m course atop Mount Imbiah, working its way down to Siloso Beach.
Packed with obstacles and mid-air challenges, participants will climb rope bridges and balance on swinging logs and cargo nets at different heights of between 3m and 9m high.
About five minutes away at the Beach Station, adrenaline junkies can suit up and 'skydive' from 17m up at iFly Singapore, the city's first indoor skydiving simulator, by next June.
It will be built by SkyVenture Singapore, a franchise of American-based wind tunnel manufacturer SkyVenture, at a cost of $16 million.
A half-hour experience, which includes a flight briefing, will cost $40, while admission charges to the wavepool and Zipline & High Rope Course attractions are still in the planning stage.
When all these are completed, there will be 18 attractions on Sentosa, including bars, with half along the beach area.
Last year, Sentosa saw a record 6.1 million visitors, a 7.9 per cent increase over 2006. Of these, 3.8 million were beachgoers, up from 3.4 million visitors in 2006.
The slashing of the admission fee to Sentosa in 2002 from $6 per person to $2 has no doubt played a part.
For sales manager Mohamed Faizal, 35, the new attractions will give him more reason to visit Sentosa and its beaches.
Enthuses the father of one: 'There will be more to do and see for the whole family, especially for children. Besides cycling and swimming, my son will be able to surf at the new wavepool.'
This article was first published in The Sunday Times on June 1, 2008.
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