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We arrived in Vegas a week after the Lunar New Year, so the crowds had died down a bit but the decorations were still up.

As many Asians enjoy gambling and even more indulge in shopping, Las Vegas has been rolling out the red carpet for them. Chinese new year was lavishly celebrated in a number of Vegas casino hotels. The hall decorated with red lanterns and twin smoke-breathing dragons (in a distance) was Bellagio’s attempt to create a celebratory atmosphere. Bellagio had a few dragons snaking along on the ground too. Of course, there were throngs of people standing in front of it taking pictures.

The Wynn had their dragons too.

We sometimes wonder what made our culture worship extinct giant lizards.

In addition to Asian Americans arriving from LA, more are flying in directly from Asia. To make the non-English speakers feel more welcomed, Chinese language signs were prominently displayed.

Curiously, they were both written with traditional characters (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan) but not the simplified characters used in mainland China.

Caesar’s palace has a skinny, legless (but flying) dragon inside.

Fake ionic columns and red lanterns – 21st century commercial interior design.

In 2011, the majority of growth of the gambling industry happened offshore in Macau. We visited Macau at the same period last year and created a few posts about how Chinese new year was celebrated over there: MGM Grand, Mermaid vs Jellyfish and Grand Lisboa vs Wynn.

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