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Asian-themed resort is planned for LV Chinatown

The proposed Dragon City Hotel and Resort would include a 28-story hotel and a 70,000-square-foot casino, near Spring Mountain and Wynn roads.

When thousands of middle-class Chinese tourists start pouring into Las Vegas in the years ahead, where are they going to feel most at home? The companies that have or will have a presence in Asia already, of course, are hoping familiarity with their products in Macau will translate into brand loyalty.

Las Vegas Sands, for example, already has begun cross-marketing its Paiza Club, the home of the high-roller salons that exist both at the Venetian in Las Vegas and at the Sands Macau. No doubt the Venetian Macau, the company's property being built on Macau's Cotai Strip, also will use the brand in hopes of building brand loyalty.

Steve Wynn's property in Macau is much like the one on the Strip. It's smaller than the one in Vegas, but the interior is similar and many of the restaurants and attractions have the same names as those in Macau.

So will the Chinese who make their way to Macau stay loyal to the Venetian, Wynn Las Vegas or the MGM Grand?

Andrew Lai has a different theory — especially since large numbers of Chinese tourists are bound to be middle-class customers, not the high-rollers who are more likely to frequent the Venetian, Wynn or MGM.

Lai and a team of developers are hoping to draw tourists from all over Asia to Las Vegas Chinatown.

Lai hopes to break ground in three years on the Dragon City Hotel and Resort project, a hotel-casino proposal that Lai says would make Asians feel at home. While the concept is in its early stages — financing hasn't been publicly disclosed and approval is still pending on a gaming overlap zone for the development — the developers are optimistic.

The 28-story hotel would have 3,400 rooms in two buildings. One would have 2,200 rooms, the other 1,200 straddling a street in the area of Spring Mountain and Wynn roads. The company plans a 70,000-square-foot casino and 500,000 square feet of retail space.

Among the retail outlets will be 50 restaurants. Lai figures that providing the comforts of home means serving food like they make at home. Since the Dragon City would play host to guests from across Asia, it makes sense to offer Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese food. Dragon City is expected to employ 6,000 to 8,000 workers.

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