The Cotai Strip in Macau resembles Las Vegas
The Cotai strip Macau, as it now named is a 5.2 square kilometre piece of newly reclaimed land. Formerly known as the Seac Pai Bay between the Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, it is now a casino Mecca.
Part of a cunning plan to replicate Las Vegas in the far east, today it has become a veritable gambling hub.
Not without foresight, during 2002 the Macau Government took a decision to award gambling licenses to a number of casino developers.
The result was a resounding success. During the following years after some sound planning the Cotai strip became a reality.
Now the Chinese enclave is crammed full of glitzy casinos, hotels and entertainment venues right next to the new McCarran international airport.
It was named the Cotai Strip Macau by the US Las Vegas Sands Corporation who played an enormous part in the development of the strip.
First Development of the Cotai Strip
Right from the start, the intention was to replicate the Las Vegas strip. During 2004, following years of infrastructure projects the Las Vegas Sands opened with resounding success.
The Galaxy Entertainment Group followed by opening the Broadway Hotel, as it is now known. During 2007, the Las Vegas Sands opened their second development, the Venetian Macau Resort. Today this casino remains a beacon for gambling.
By now the gambling revenues of the strip were outstripping those of the Las Vegas strip, 9 billion dollars a year. This was no accident. The Macau dream was being realised with millions of wealthy gamblers flocking in from China where gambling is illegal. The location of Macau was perfect, being linked by infrastructure to mainland China.
By 2009 Melco Holdings opened its doors to increase the potential. It was situated right opposite the Venetian Macau. This was an iconic move in the development of the Cotai strip, cementing the continued success of the gambling concept foreseen by the Macau Government.
The Continued Development of Macau
During the following years further developments were opened, creating even more excitement. The range of facilities increased dramatically when the Plaza Macau, Galaxy Resort Macau, Sands Cotai Central, Studio City and Wynn Palace opened.
By now the gambling facilities and range of hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues was almost endless. The hotels were lavishly designed with stunning facilities and increased the number of hotel rooms and suites to seemingly uneconomical proportions.
The new hotels were resort style and resembled individual cities in their own right. For example, the Sands Cotai Central has 3896 suites and the Sheraton Macau has 1224 suites. These hotels are supported with a wide range of facilities for every taste including shopping malls. High quality cuisine dining has all become part of the Cotai strip experience. The range of cuisine is almost limitless but largely Asian as you might expect.
The casino attractions now include the highly popular acrobat show and the House of Dancing Water in the City of Dreams Resort. You can take a Gondola ride on the canal inside the Venetian Macau or a ride on the Ferris wheel at the Hollywood style Studio City. Asian visitors are hugely attracted by western theme of so many of the attractions on the Cotai Strip Macau.
For the culturally minded, the historical City of Macau is just across the water and offers a rare glimpse of what life was like in Portuguese colonial times. Of course being annexed to China it also has strong Asian influence. Read more about the culture of Macau. If you fancy a snack when you are out and about try a piece of Portuguese egg tart. It is very popular in Hong Kong, Taiwan and southern mainland China.
Back to the Cotai Strip Macau, there is no shortage of night-life. There are many nightclubs including the famous Climax venue in the Wynn Palace. For a little bit of razamataz you can also pay a visit to the Broadway Theatre.
The casino resorts themselves are the big attraction. Each was designed on a grand scale and most are themed. Wherever you stay you are never far away from other spectacular sights. For example, the replica Eiffel tower at the Parisian Macau. It features a spectacular light show. You can dine in the restaurants which have stunning views out over Cotai. The Parisian Macau is well worth a visit, with over 3000 guest rooms and supporting facilities, you could even go there for a day trip.
The Future of the Cotai Strip Macau
The Cotai strip gambling strip in Macau is acknowledged to be a massively successful venture. It is a feather in the cap for the Macau Government who had the foresight to implement an ambitious plan. Revenues from this holiday gambling mecca continue to grow funding further projects. Casinos and tourism go hand in hand.
MGM Resorts are investing in a new casino venture which will be another attraction on the strip. SJM Holdings are investing in the Lisboa Palace, another casino resort. More theme parks are being constructed as part of increasing development including the new Macau Theme Park and resort.
The unique thing about Cotai is that is was created on reclaimed land right next to an international airport. That was also built on reclaimed land. Designing in the modern age has the benefit of hindsight and it has to be said the Cotai strip is a marvel of planning and construction.
Should the expansion trend continue more land could be reclaimed for construction. Time does not stand still in Macau and the existing resorts could be given a make-over and reinvented at will.
The success of Cotai strip Macau was cemented by private partnerships between the Macau Government and specialist private investors. Those private investors created one of the biggest success stories in the hotel and leisure industry.
Macau is already the biggest gambling success story since Las Vegas was created. Interestingly both were created from blank canvases.