FIRST LOOK: LUCKY DRAGON OPENS EARLY

dragon-1Lucky Dragon, the Strip’s first property tailored specifically for the ever-growing Asian market, quietly opened it’s doors last Saturday- two weeks ahead of it’s Dec. 3 scheduled grand opening. The casino, which is coupled with a boutique hotel, is the first to be built from the ground up in Las Vegas since The Cosmopolitan opened six years ago.

Small, yet mighty, the circular casino offers an authentic Asian, primarily Chinese, experience in everything from the gaming  [no poker room, few blackjack tables, lots of baccarat] to the cuisine which takes its cues from the street food found in Taipei and Beijing. The 27,500 sq ft casino is anchored by a stunning 2.5 story, 1.25 ton glass dragon sculpture which floats above the center bar.

The 9-story boutique hotel [where rooms are currently going for $499/night but are expected to fall after the Dec. 3 grand opening] is accessible via a sky bridge from the casino as well as directly from the outside. The ground level features a tea garden with the city’s only tea sommelier to guide guests in their choices.

 

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No fourth floor.

What you won’t find at Lucky dragon is a fourth floor as the number four is seen as unlucky; conversely, you will find the number eight hidden throughout – such as the eight-sided center bar, as the number eight is proposed to bring good fortune.

 

Gorgeous as it is, Lucky Dragon certainly doesn’t feel like a typical Strip property. The intimate casino feels more like a locals casino, and that’s probably on purpose. Despite the fact that mere days before scheduled December opening, Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport will begin receiving direct flights from Beijing thanks to Hainan Airlines, Lucky Dragon’s target customers are more likely to drive in from Southern California or the Las Vegas Valley than they are to fly in from Asia. Indeed, their target customers are the more than 200,000 Asians already in Las Vegas, as well as those in other immigrant communities in Southern California, Northern California, as well as Vancouver.

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dragon-4Lucky Dragon will still “officially” open it’s doors on Dec. 3 with an extravagant series of Asian demonstrations, including a firecracker show, which according to Asian custom is a way of driving away evil spirits, as well as a traditional lion and dragon dance to bring good luck and good fortune to all. In addition, the world’s largest Kung Fu tea service will run throughout the hotel during the day.

Lucky Dragon is located just off the north end of the Strip at 300 W. Sahara Avenue.