Lucky Dragon Abruptly Closes Casino and Restaurants

The struggling Lucky Dragon resort has closed its casino and restaurants.

We were the first to report Lucky Dragon was recently put up for sale, and while the resort’s hotel continues to take reservations, entrances to the casino have “Casino Temporarily Closed” signs.

Lucky Dragon closed

“Temporarily” sounds a little optimistic at this point.

Lucky Dragon’s casino and restaurants closed on Jan. 4, 2018.

Lucky Dragon has had a tumultuous history, including ongoing questions about whether the Asian-themed, boutique resort would be financed or completed.

Lucky Dragon

Even a massive dragon couldn’t change Lucky Dragon’s fortune.

Lucky Dragon officially opened Dec. 3, 2016, thanks in great part to EB-5 financing. With EB-5 financing, investors (typically from Asia) contribute funds to projects and get green cards in return. In the case of Lucky Dragon, those investors will henceforth be referred to as “the monumentally screwed.”

Here’s a statement from Lucky Dragon.

Lucky Dragon closed

Every time a Las Vegas casino closes, an showgirl loses her tassels.

Optimism for the win!

Despite a strong opening, Lucky Dragon failed to attract its intended customers (including snagging local Asian customers who frequent casinos like Gold Coast and Palace Station), and has made a number of changes to its restaurant offerings.

Lucky Dragon

Normally, this would provide some consolition, but not so much.

Lucky Dragon’s challenging location, on Sahara, just off The Strip, near the Bonanza Gift Shop and SLS Las Vegas, made the resort an long shot, but sometimes in Vegas those pay off.

A Lucky Dragon insider says wild swings in baccarat were major factor in the closure of the casino. Whales (however few) would win big, then leave for bigger resorts on The Strip with more amenities. Casinos obviously rely on guests staying on-site for a chance to win some back.

Lucky Dragon

Remember, Las Vegas was built on miracles. We hope that’s what the future holds for Lucky Dragon.

We were rooting for Lucky Dragon, but haven’t visited in some time, despite the great rooms (we were quoted a rate of $45 for early February), welcoming casino and top-notch (although limited) cuisine.

We’ve heard Lucky Dragon would need at least $90 million from a buyer to cover its first and second (EB-5) tier investors.

It’s unknown what’s next for Lucky Dragon, but here’s hoping employees find other options as the resort tries to change its luck.

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  • VegasSlushy

    I’m not sure if I should be surprised the hotel remains open.

    • Alex

      Perhaps it is just remaining open for a few more weeks to cash in on the Consumer Elections Show (CES). I’m sure they are fully booked at rack rates. Once the show is over, I bet the hotel closes.

      • Mike L

        I was thinking the same thing. Their hotel still has rooms available for CES, the rates are $415 currently.

        • I believe it’s more related to EB-5 financing, but I guess we’ll see when CES leaves town if they hotel remains in operation.

      • I’ll take that bet! It’s to preserve the EB-5 investment. Has to operate two years and keep 10 employees for every $500,000 invested.

        • Mike L

          They opened in November 2016 – So you’re saying they’re going to have to limp on until November like this? To shut down the casino is just stupid. If anything, they should have shut down the hotel and left the casino operational (ala Binion’s or previously Las Vegas Club). If they were making more on the hotel than the casino, they were doing something very wrong.

          • They need to keep a ton of employees on payroll, and hotel operations employ far more than casinos. It’s likely they’re already bumping up against the requirements, so not sure of the point, but better than shutting down entirely if they’re trying to entice a buyer or investor.

  • Rocky Sullivan

    People from LA didn’t want to go to Vegas only to wind up in an LA style joint.
    People from China didn’t come all the way to Vegas to go to a casino like the one from home.

    • Better tell that to the folks at Resorts World!

  • Vegas53

    Duh…no big surprise here. The food truck on the corner has better food (when they were actually serving food). Crap location and worse business plan. First it was “Mainland Chinese will travel here just to stay in our hotel”. Then after all the laughing died down and no one arrived, they changed their story to “we’ll get all the California Asians to come here”. More laughter…and that obviously didn’t happen either. Layoffs during construction, layoffs a month after opening, further layoffs during 2017. Anyone that didn’t see this coming doesn’t have a clue how to operate a casino resort….like the the senior management at Lucky Dragon.

  • Mike L

    Time for Scott to bust out his wallet. The future Vital Vegas Hotel & Casino?

    • It would be fun trying to make a go of that place. Rumor was someone eyeing it thought about making it a sports-themed bar experience. That would’ve been fun to watch, too.