Asian inspiration: Lucky Dragon draws the crowds during opening month

Asian inspiration: Lucky Dragon draws the crowds during opening month

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
First Asian inspired Las Vegas casino makes a splash

On 3 December, the booming sound of taiko drummers signalled the opening of the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas’ newest casino resort.

Situated at the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip, Lucky Dragon is the desert city’s first entertainment destination that has been designed to create an authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience.

In addition to 27,500sq.ft of casino space, the facility includes more than 200 Asian-inspired hotel rooms and numerous restaurants offering a range of Eastern culinary options.

“Attendance leading up to, during and post Grand Opening have all been very strong,” the resort’s chief operating officer, Dave Jacoby, told TotallyGaming.com. “Our casino floor and restaurants were completely full all weekend, and we continue to see guests coming to check us out for the first time or returning to experience new facets of the resort.

“Our festivities included a ribbon cutting ceremony, dragon and lion dance throughout the property, live singers, food and drink specials, lucky draw cash giveaways and much more.”

The first casino to have been built from the ground up in Las Vegas since The Cosmopolitan back in 2010, the Lucky Dragon project was founded by the Widener and Fonfa families – both of which have prominent histories in the casino industry and in development in Las Vegas more broadly.

Andrew Fonfa is a successful developer in Las Vegas that was responsible for the Allure Condominium Tower, which is connected to Lucky Dragon. Bill Weidner, meanwhile, served as president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation for nearly 15 years. His son, James, is a successful entrepreneur and resort developer.

Underlining the resort’s strong focus on creating an authentic Asian ambience, Jacoby said: “Lucky Dragon offers some of the best Asian cuisine in the city. Our restaurants will serve everything from simple dim sum take-out at Bao Now to modern Cantonese fine dining in Phoenix, and everything in between.”

The resort’s Asian influence is also reflected on the casino floor. While visitors can still find games such as Black Jack and Texas Hold’em, Lucky Dragon’s 37 tables and 287 slots are heavily weighted towards Eastern favourites, such as baccarat, pai gow and Asian-themed video reels. Each of the facility’s gaming lounges are, of course, designed with the discipline of Feng Shui.

“Our hotel and casino include signage in Chinese first and English second,” explained Jacoby. “More than 70 per cent of our employees speak a second language other than English, predominantly Mandarin Chinese. The unique details that make Lucky Dragon a hotspot for visitors and locals alike are the same details that ensure it would not seem out of place if it were dropped right in the middle of China.”

The opening of Las Vegas’ latest gaming destination came on the heels of Hainan Airlines’ announcement over the summer that it would launch the first direct flight between China and Las Vegas. “Initial reports have shown very strong interest in the first direct Beijing to Las Vegas route,” Jacoby stated, “and we are hopeful that this inaugural flight will serve as a leader for more direct routes from points throughout Asia.”

While Lucky Dragon aims to deliver an authentic resort experience that rivals high-end resorts currently found throughout Asia, the facility is not solely aimed at Asian guests. “We have found the resort is popular with both domestic and overseas Asian guests, as well as non-Asian guests seeking a differentiated authentically Asian experience,” said Jacoby.

Lucky Dragon will eventually be joined by two new major casino developments currently under construction at the northern end of the Strip: Resorts World Las Vegas and the Alon. When asked whether these three major developments have cemented the push northwards, Jacoby said: “We look forward to welcoming Resorts World, Alon and others as our new neighbours… and continue to work with our existing neighbours to help foster growth and excitement throughout the Vegas Strip.

“As more development continues to come to Las Vegas, the lines between the Strip and Downtown are somewhat beginning to blur, and we think a larger, more cohesive entertainment destination is a benefit for all involved.”

TotallyGaming says: As the first ground-up development to open on the Las Vegas Strip in six years, Lucky Dragon is helping to breathe new life into North America’s biggest gaming and entertainment destination. Given its unique positioning as an Asian-themed resort, the venue is not only capturing the attention of those visiting from across the Pacific, but also those looking for a new experience – one which encapsulates a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic that, until now, could only be found in the mega-casinos of Macau and Singapore.

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