At 8:00 p.m. local time on Saturday, November 19th the city of Las Vegas welcomed the latest brick and mortar casino to its famous Strip.
The Lucky Dragon was scheduled to open on December 3rd, but with construction and interior design phases of the project completed early, casino executives decided to debut the venue early. Even so, the Grand Opening celebration and corresponding promotions and festivities will still be held on that date as planned.
The so-called “soft opening” represents the first time a newly constructed casino property has opened in Las Vegas since the Cosmopolitan’s debut in December of 2010.
Located on the north side of West Sahara Avenue and less than a half-mile to the west of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Lucky Dragon is situated just to the south of The Stratosphere tower.
Although modestly sized in comparison to The Strip’s famed mega-resort casinos, the Lucky Dragon still contains 203 hotel rooms within the main tower, along with a 27,500-square-foot casino offering 37 table game facilities and nearly 300 slot machines on the floor.
As the name suggests, the Lucky Dragon’s design philosophy was inspired by elements of various Asian cultures, Chinese chief among them. To that end, interior décor is largely skewed towards red shades – which is considered to be an omen of good luck throughout China. Signage is written with Chinese characters at the forefront, followed by smaller English translations. And the hotel tower itself skips from the 3rd floor to the 5th, eschewing the traditionally unlucky number four entirely.
Per a statement released by Dave Jacoby, who serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Lucky Dragon, the venue is committed to catering to Asian customers as a priority:
“We didn’t want to be a caricature of an Asian resort. Most of the other casinos here in Las Vegas are very large mega resorts trying to be all things to all people — we have a different approach here at Lucky Dragon.
Lucky Dragon in and of itself is something completely unique, not only in Las Vegas but in the world.”
In keeping with the Asian inspiration, the five restaurants located within the Lucky Dragon will serve as a “night market” of sorts, serving the traditional street foods sold by vendors in cities like Taipei and Beijing. Diners are treated with a wide assortment of Asian cuisine, including dim sum options from a seafood aquarium, and ancient delicacies like deer tendon and abalone.
Another illustration of the Lucky’s Dragon’s focus on the Asian customer base hovers over the casino floor, as an ornate 2,500-pound golden dragon statue made of handblown glass greets those who enter. Designed and sculpted by Bohemian Crystal Alchemists, based in the famed Crystal Valley region of the Czech Republic, the spiraling golden dragon stands at two-and-a-half stories tall.
Jacoby commented on the dramatic dragon sculpture’s importance to the casino’s Asian-themed interior design scheme:
“This one-of-a-kind centerpiece of the resort will welcome guests from around the world to our gaming floor and provide good fortune and warm hospitality to all of Lucky Dragon’s guests.”
Dragons are another recognized symbol of luck and prosperity within the Chinese and other Asian cultures.