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Casinos Bet on Spas to Lure Visitors

As consumers tighten spending and cut vacations, casino operators are betting on spas to help them attract customers.

"There's a new clientele of young, affluent people who come to Atlantic City and Las Vegas not to gamble, but to go to the spas," says Eugene Christiansen, chief executive officer of Christiansen Capital Advisors, a Maine-based consulting firm for the leisure industry.

Companies such as Wynn Resorts (WYNN), MGM Mirage (MGM) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) have spent millions to create state-of-the-art spas that offer infinity pools, massage treatments and Pilates studios. The casino operators are offering spa packages that include hotel stays to lure more customers now that gamblers are booking fewer trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"Spas are a better draw than restaurants, because most major cities have good dining," Christiansen says.

Here are a few upscale spas to check out:

Immersion Spa, Atlantic City: Last year, MGM Mirage and Boyd Gaming Corp. (ticker: BYD) opened Immersion (http://www.thewaterclubhotel.com/spa/), a full-service spa spanning two floors in The Water Club, the companies' new $400 million hotel. For $348, you can sign up for the Serenity Immersion Spa package, which includes one night of lodging, an 80-minute massage or facial and access to the hotel's 80-foot lap pool and fitness center.

If you have $200 to spare, try the 105-minute "Slimming Detox Ritual," one of the spa's specialties, which includes a massage the spa says will help customers look more slender.

Qua Baths & Spa, Atlantic City and Las Vegas: Qua Baths & Spa at the Caesars resorts in Atlantic City and Las Vegas offers Roman-style baths, saunas and tearooms. Guests at Qua Baths & Spa can choose from a selection of treatments, which range from a 50-minute "Classic Massage" for $140 to the $5,000 "Dieci Mani" treatment that includes a 180-minute Roman bath, facial and massage.

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