The first Asian-themed hotel and casino is coming to Vegas with promises to cater to Chinese gamblers.
The Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, set to open on Dec. 3 off the northern end of the Las Vegas strip, is appealing to Chinese visitors with authentic Chinese food and other comforts of home. The establishment, which is mostly funded by Chinese investors, will include bilingual staff and signage and a luxury tea bar.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 203-room boutique resort is adorned with a rose-colored front entrance designed in a dragon motif.
The casino and hotel will celebrate its grand opening in December with a traditional lion dance as well.
Other cultural touches include the exclusion of the number four on the property.
The unlucky four will be left out of room numbers and as a floor in the nine-story hotel. Other noted Chinese superstitions include an eight-sided main bar for good fortune.
The kitchens have also been blessed for good luck. David Jacoby, chief operating officer of the resort, said:
“This place is heavily feng shui’ed.”
Jacoby, who previously worked at the Global Gaming Asset Management firm, believes there has been a market in Sin City that has long been ignored.
While big name casinos and hotels like the Sand’s Venetian, MGM or Wynn are attracting China’s high rollers with VIP lounges and amenities, the Lucky Dragon will appeal to middle-class Chinese gamblers and the greater Asian American community.
“Let them fight over the 1% and let us fight over the remaining 99%.”
Former president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., Bill Weidner, is largely credited with the idea of the Lucky Dragon. Weidner, who serves as an advisor to Lucky Dragon, has experience with the Asian market having worked with powerful Chinese government officials to expand Sands into Macau in 2002. Weidner also played a role in developing the $5.5-billion Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
On Dec. 2, Hainan Airlines will be flying the first direct flights from China to Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport. According to Jacoby, Lucky Dragon guests are confirmed to be on the flight.
However, the Lucky Dragon isn’t the only one eyeing this unserved market. Work on another Asian-themed resort that will showcase Chinese architecture and include an ersatz Great Wall is already underway. Resorts World, a Malaysian hospitality and casino giant, is footing up to $4 billion for a 3,200-room resort on the North Strip that is planned to open in 2019.