By David Landsel | December 6, 2016 | Home & Real Estate
The city's first new-build hotel casino in six years, Lucky Dragon moves Chinatown to the Strip's north end.
Lucky Dragon developers are expecting an influx of Chinese gamers from Las Vegas and beyond to this ruby-colored hotel casino on Sahara; both décor and games are aimed toward a Chinese crowd, and those looking for a transporting experience.
You can easily find Las Vegas in Asia (see Singapore’s Marina Bay, Macau’s Cotai Strip) But with the valley now home to the fastest growing Asian population in the United States, and an even larger one in Southern California, catering to this community is crucial. From noodle bars to gaming, most resorts have made (subtle) accommodations, but in December, the brand-new Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino (300 W. Sahara Ave.) goes all in. Everything that can feasibly be colored (lucky) red has been—from the exterior of the 203-room hotel tower to accent pillows on the bed. The 27,500 square-foot casino emphasizes table games such as Pai gow and baccarat; a tea garden is served by a tea sommelier; and restaurants range from dim sum to Cantonese dining, to a night marketstyle food hall. “All signs are in Chinese first, English second,” says developer Andy Fonfa. “We’re offering the Asian community a real opportunity to showcase their culture.”
Just a couple of traffic lights south, Malaysia’s Genting Group—the team behind Resorts World, one of Asia’s best known gaming resort brands— is finally beginning work on their $4 billion dollar mega-project. With 3,000 rooms, a permanent exhibit of China’s famed terracotta warriors, live pandas, and even scaled-down Great Wall, the resort isn’t just aiming at any one market. Nervous, much? Not Lucky Dragon, where executives have done their homework. Fonfa is hugely optimistic, hinting at growth plans like a walkable neighborhood with dining and retail, easily accessible on foot from any north Strip hotel. “Between this and future projects,” Fonfa says, “the North Strip will be the new Chinatown.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF GALE