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North Is The New South Dept: Enter The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 3rd March 2014 3:22pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 10


The fight for north strip Asian gamblers is about to heat up.

The Lucky Dragon, a $135 million dollar project backed by Las Vegas real estate developer Andrew Fonfa (who owns neighboring Allure condominiums) and helmed by former Las Vegas Sands honcho William Weidner, the man responsible for building the global gaming empire LVS money man by Sheldon Adelson.

The Lucky Dragon is located on the north side of Sahara Avenue, just west of Las Vegas Boulevard. The area was previously a gas station and sits adjacent to the Allure condominiums, two doors down from The Worlds Largest Gift Shop. Directly to the south is the former El Rancho property, currently held by MGM Resorts International. SLS, Stratosphere and a proposed Walgreens/Casino are also within walking distance.

The Lucky Dragon boasts "futuristic high-end resort luxuries, with an appreciation for ancient Asian culture" and will feature 200 hotel rooms and suites "appointed in modern Asian style." Decor will feature traditional graphic scroll calligraphy and modern Asian silk paintings designed to showcase the "rich ancient culture of Asia."

Keeping with its Asian theme, The Lucky Dragon boasts having a 23,500 square foot casino floor with 500 slot machines and 50 gaming tables which focus on Baccarat, Pai Gow, Fan Tan and Sic Bo plus a high limit salon Feng Shui'd to the max.

Dining, as you may have surmised, will also be Asian focused, with dim sum restaurant (Din Tai Fung?) a tea cafe, a food court done up like Beijing's Wangfujing Snack Street, a casual fine dining restaurant serving northern and southern cuisine from China plus a.... (trumpet fanfare) Karaoke Bar!

Retail will feature higher end jewelry, clothing and a sundries/logo merchandise shop.

Lucky Dragon has contracted with Penta Building Group as general contractor.

So, how are they going to pay for it? The principals will be contributing 30% of the development costs including site clean up, design work, legal fees, security, gaming licenses (Fonfa is licensed owner of Indian Springs Casino) principal development and the real estate - roughly $40m bucks. The remainder of the costs will be covered by a $500,000 per visa EB5 investment program. Investors into the EB5 program are also rewarded by being enrolled in Premier level of Lucky Dragon's rewards program.

Of the myriad vaporware casino projects that get announced each year, Lucky Dragon is one of the few to have spend the time actually organizing its (Peking) ducks. William Weidner was, for a time, the heir apparent of LVS and one of the five most powerful people in the Las Vegas casino industry. Having his name attached to this project lends it credibility it might never have. Additionally, the selection of solid Asian theme so close to Chinatown plus the boutique scale make this a very doable project on a very very limited budget and a non-existent player development Rolodex.

Big huge thanks to VT reader Phil for the tip!


Comments & Discussion:

Is there a date for groundbreaking?

I seem to recall a number of years ago someone planned a resort in the Chinatown area called Dragon City Hotel & Resort that never went anywhere. This one likely has the legs to actually happen, assuming that SLS didn't pluck all of the potential EB5 folks.

we're looking into this!

I wish MGM would build the Atlantis Las Vegas with Kerzner International instead of City Center North like they once had planned. Or was that closer to Circus Circus?

Either way more things to do for the North end of the Strip is always great.

Between this and SLS, they should nickname Sahara Ave the "EB5"

Maybe that program would be a compelling way for MGM to fund that North block across the street too. Take a cue from this Lucky structure and throw in an Mlife Pearl membership with it too so the wealthy investors can get priority buffet access.

No one needs to worry about EB5 applicants running out as the allure of cash-for-green card will never lose its appeal. It's so crazy that this program is legal and encouraged by the feds.

Logistically this would take one of the worst intersections traffic-wise and turn it into an absolute cluster of MGM-ian proportions.

^^ +5 points for "allure"

sort of wishing I'd put 10k into LVS back in the crash (see other article), and parlayed that into a green-card today. That would be a Vegas win of a different colour. Plus I'd be Premier in the Lucky program.

I put 3k in after the crash, not quite at $4 a share, but close, unfortunatley got pinched in the time that passed and was only able to slightly double it, also took a hard look at Wynn then in the $20's for a bit, ah if only I had some free cash on hand at that time.

If this works could it be the thing that makes Circus Circus go away since it will look even worse with new hotels next to it?

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