During dinner with Ian Brewis, who runs all of the Chi spas for Shangri La, we began discussing spas in Vegas and Macau. He had just come from Las Vegas where the Hong Kong-based Shangri La brand is apparently looking at possibilities for a new hotel and spa. We talked about how Asians – and especially the Chinese – really like to gamble and why he anticipates that a Shangri La in Las Vegas would be a home run. Just like many Americans who traveled to China in the past 20 years prefered to stay in American style hotels (think Hilton, Marriott, etc.), the Chinese, who are now beginning to travel outside of China, are looking for a familiar hotel brand. Ta da!Shangri La.
Then the very next day I read this article in the NY Times, “Las Vegas Caters to Asia’s High Rollers” which explains that “Casino operators have long recognized that a large number of Asians, especially Chinese and Chinese-Americans, are avid gamblers.”