Las Vegas is once again opening a new casino – The Casino Lucky Dragon – after 6 years, the last opened casino being the Cosmopolitan which opened in 2010.
Somuchpoker’s friend Las Vegas Jaunt from Las Vegas has given a full report after visiting the newly opened casino.
When East meets West
A step away from the European themed properties in Vegas, the Lucky Dragon offers a more Asian theme in the hopes of attracting Chinese and Chinese-American clientele who are either part of the 250,000 Asian living in the valley and the West Coast or the innumerable amount of tourists coming from Asia.
The property is intended to give an authentic Asian lifestyle experience. Chief Operating Officer, David Jacoby said,
“This whole place has been very specifically feng shui’d, from the color patterns, to the carpets, to where the seats are, to where the cash is. There will be no fourth floor in the hotel – that’s a superstition similar to what we have in the United States with the number 13. There’s no number 4 anywhere on the property. Our phone numbers don’t have a 4 in it. People in the front of the house of the resort will speak Mandarin, Cantonese and other Asian dialects. Signage is in Chinese first, English second. What we’re trying to do is build an authentic cultural experience from the ground-up for Asian clientele, both locally and regionally throughout the United States.”
WSOP Main Event Champion spotted
WSOP Champion Qui Nguyen was one of the first celebrities to try out the tables of the Lucky Dragon during its soft opening last November 19. An avid Baccarat player, Nguyen once told ESPN, “Over the years, I have lost my ass playing Baccarat, over $250,000.” Maybe with the Feng Shui’d casino, he may just get his losses back.
The grandeur of the Lucky Dragon
The 27,500 sq. Ft (2,550 m2) property is relatively small compared to its neighbors at The Strip making it more of a boutique hotel than a casino resort. Despite this, the casino offers luxury that is at par with every single resort in Vegas. It has 5 restaurants serving authentic Chinese food:
Dragon’s alley: a lantern-lit restaurant that stretches out to the casino allowing patrons to watch as their food is being prepared. The Dragon’s alley tries to simulate a genuine night food market that can be experienced in the streets of China:
- Pearl’s Ocean: a 5-star dimsum restaurant
- Cha Garden: a 24-hour indoor and outdoor tea garden and lounge that encompasses the area of the hotel lobby to the pool area. It is a fantastic place to chill after in between games any time of the day.
- Phoenix Restaurant: a 60-seat fine dining restaurant which will allow patrons to feast their palates on Chinese a la carte
- Bao Now: a fast food restaurant which offers Chinese cuisine on-the-go.
And like all Chinese experiences, the casino adds a dash of opulence by placing a 1 1/4 –ton glass dragon chandelier across the restaurants – an iconic centerpiece that dominates the area reminding all of the greatness of Asia.
The Casino Floor: Where the Fun begins
The casino has 300 slot machines and 37 table games that includes the standard offering of casino games but with an inclination to those that Asian love more, i.e. Baccarat, Pai Gow and Sic Bo.
Unlike some of its neighbors, the casino does not offer a poker room as of yet.
The Bigger Picture: A new Chinatown on The Strip?
CEO of Lucky Dragon Andrew Fonfa and the Las Vegas Economic Impact Regional Center believes that the northern end of the Las Vegas strip will become a center for Asian commerce. As such, he intends to move towards this direction and transform the vicinity into the new Las Vegas Chinatown.
This vision is reinforced by the very first direct flight, which started December 2, from Beijing to Las Vegas by Hainan Airlines. With a direct flight, droves of Chinese and Asian tourists are expected. This new route is hoped to bring in an estimated US$33.5 Million in tourist spending for Southern Nevada.
And to cash in on this same vision, Resorts World Las Vegas will start construction in 2017 with a Chinese-themed megaresort.
Article by Gabrielle Barredo