If all goes well, you’ll see the familiar Zouk neon sight over the sands of Las Vegas in 2021. “It’ll be one of the biggest openings in a decade for Vegas,” Andrew Li, CEO of Zouk Group, shares. “Everything will be integrated into the resort. There will be a nightclub, a beach club, a few bars, a restaurant and even an Asian food street. We’re looking at a space of 10,000 square metres.” That’s about one and a half football fields. To put that into perspective, Zouk in Singapore comes in at only 898 square metres.
When did the Vegas conversation start?
When Genting Hong Kong bought over Zouk, there was already this vision to build a lifestyle portfolio. Now that we’ve consolidated our plans for Zouk Singapore, we are expanding and the Zouk at Resorts World Genting was the first step. We also have the cruise ships as well, and opening one in Las Vegas is just the natural progression.
You’ve been at the helm for two years now. What has been the toughest challenge so far?
You know, I’ve worked in nightlife for seven years now, but no one talks the way that regulars talk about Zouk. Many have had some kind of experience or emotional journey with the club, and the biggest challenge was making sure that we retained these feelings while we guide the evolution of the Zouk brand.
What about your greatest achievement?
Building a team that shares the same vision as myself and the group. It hasn’t been easy. Sure, I am the CEO of Zouk, but it’s the people below me who are really driving the vision. We wouldn’t have been able to do the things we’ve done in the past two years without this wonderful group of people working for me.
Would you have done anything differently at the start, now that you’ve had close to three years of experience running the show?
I’ve learnt the most when I made mistakes, but if I have to give an answer, it’d probably be being more involved in the ZoukOut music festival project, and working out the future problems before they actually happened. I admit that I wasn’t as involved as I should have been at the start.
What was the main problem with ZoukOut?
I think it’s the same one that the other music festivals are having: costs are rising and it’s hard to create a music festival that can run year after year. I do want to bring it back, but I think the way that it’s organised has to change. We just need to have the right partners and the correct strategy to make sure that it’s sustainable.