Give the Chinese a crack at capitalism and all heck breaks loose - that's my main take-away after seven days here in Asia. The consumer potential of this country is awesome. That's why Marriott is so bullish about our growth plans here.
China's economy is growing at the rate of 10 percent a year. If you think that's impressive, wait 'til you get a load of Macau. It's growing at more than 20 percent a year.
This tiny, little island is about one-sixth the size of Washington, D.C. and only an hour-long ferry ride from Hong Kong. About 100 million people are within a three hour car ride and 3 billion people are within a five hour flight.
No surprise that last year, Macau overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenue.
You should see the monstrous casinos at the brand new Venetian. It's the second largest building in the world after the Boeing plant in the state of Washington. They have an entertainment center under construction that will accommodate 15,000 people for major events like rock concerts and NBA exhibition games.
The lowest bet at the high roller tables is $3000. There are no slot machines - well there are just a few - some baccarat, a lot of roulette, blackjack and "sic bo," which means high-low in Chinese.
And talk about speed to market: the Venetian was a $2.4 billion project but only took 24 months to build.
Read the entire post in Mr. Marriott's blog, Marriott on the Move.