I was in Las Vegas a few days ago for a quick, easy vacation. It was the week after CES and a week before Chinese New Year. In other words, Vegas was practically a ghost town. Not having to wait 1 hour to get into any random restaurant or 2+ hours to get into a buffet was a welcome change from my usual Vegas trips.
Chinese New Year was still a few days away, but Vegas was already getting ready for the Year of the Dragon. CNY is one of the biggest money-making holidays for Vegas, thanks to Asian tourists flooding into the city. Not surprisingly, Vegas rolls out the welcome mat for them. It was cool seeing Chinese New Year decorations all over the high-end casinos and shopping malls. I spent most of my trip in the center of the Strip, so I only took photos of the CityCenter complex (Aria, Cosmopolitan, Crystals) and Bellagio.
Aria, the main casino of the CityCenter megacenter, went all-out with decorations. A giant banner that is impossible to miss was pasted over the main entrance to greet visitors. Two Chinese chimera statues stand guard outside the entrance.
Humongous paper dragon in the main lobby, flying under an army of lanterns.
Buddha statue surrounded by bamboo. His belly is gleaming gold after countless rubs for good luck.
Dragon structure outside a couple restaurants.
Delicious-looking chocolate dragon outside the Jean Philippe patisserie in Aria.
Dragon in Crystals, the luxury shopping mall in CityCenter
Cosmopolitan is the newest property in Vegas, opening just over a year ago. It is the final piece to the $9 billion CityCenter megacomplex. No Chinese New Year decorations were found inside, but here are a few photos anyway since it was my first time visiting Cosmopolitan.
The centerpiece of Cosmopolitan is a three-story lounge / bar surrounded by a giant “chandelier”. Very impressive and pretty.
Cosmopolitan felt like a very girly boutique hotel to me. Doesn’t help that there’s high heel imagery all over the resort.
Bellagio’s main entrance with a couple lion statues on guard.
Front desk decked out with banners and lanterns.
The Bellagio conservatory is famous for its seasonal displays and holiday commemorations.
Performer playing drums and a Chinese lute.
I didn’t know people actually used iPads for taking photos and videos. The camera is terrible and on par with the one in iPod touch. But as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you…
Two dragons fighting for a mythical pearl.
Dragons, dragons, and more dragons!
Happy Chinese New Year!