Lucky Dragon Gets Zero Bids at Bankruptcy Auction

An auction for the Asian-themed Lucky Dragon resulted in zero bids, so it will go to the failed casino’s primary lender, Snow Covered Capital.

The auction on Oct. 30, 2018, had a healthy turnout at the offices of Nevada Legal News in downtown Las Vegas. In fact, the auction was so well-attended, it had to be held in the building’s parking lot.

Lucky Dragon auction

Shout-out to all the Toastmasters who know that’s a lectern and not a podium!

Unfortunately for everyone involved, nobody in the crowd was willing to meet or beat Snow Covered Capital’s $35 million minimum bid, so the company will take ownership of the shuttered Lucky Dragon.

Not only did Snow Covered Capital not get the $55 million it needed to recoup its loan, many others are losing their shorts in the Lucky Dragon saga as well.

There’s a second tier of lenders who are likely to never see a dollar, as well as innumerable craftspeople who have yet to be paid for their work on the ill-fated hotel-casino.

Lucky Dragon

Lucky Dragon may not have been a success, but nobody can say it wasn’t pretty.

The bankruptcy of Lucky Dragon will be especially brutal for the 179 foreign investors who sunk a total of $89 million into the project. Those investors were promised green cards as part of the
federal EB-5 program, and are now what industry experts call “S.O.L.”

We’ve heard a class action lawsuit may be in the making.

Read more about how foreign investors got snookered.

So, what’s next for Lucky Dragon?

While Snow Covered Capital probably would’ve preferred a magical offer of $55 million falling into its lap, having the casino in its possession now means it can pursue a buyer unfettered by the pressures and time constraints of bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings.

It’s unknown what kind of business could make a go of Lucky Dragon, or whatever it becomes next.

Lucky Dragon

Lucky Dragon was one of our favorite Las Vegas casinos we almost never visited.

More development on the north end of The Strip would certainly make Lucky Dragon more appealing to a potential operator.

We’d love to see a new casino concept, preferably one that serves budget-conscious visitors. A boutique hotel-casino along the lines of Ellis Island could target an under-served customer
looking for a place to stay and play and gamble without being nickel-and-dimed.

In fact, now would be the perfect time for an enterprising operator to establish a casino-hotel built from the ground up to take advantage of growing frustrations about paid parking, resort fees and other irksome practices which have become common in Las Vegas.

Here’s the strategy, enterprising operator:

Swear we’ll never pay for parking, never pay a resort fee or concession fee or venue fee or convenience charge.

Ensure we’ll always get 3-to-2 on blackjack and one zero on roulette, with 100x odds on craps.

Pledge to loosen the slots. We don’t mind losing when we gamble, just make it take longer!

Make the food cheap, quick and a great value.

Pour the liquor brands we want from the bottle, not the gun, and get rid of machines that tell us  when we’re worthy of a drink. Oh, and give us a damn straw with our cocktail without having to ask for one.

Give us a “Do Not Disturb” sign rather than one that says “Room Occupied.”

Let us check in early and check out late.

And while we’re building a wishlist, bring back moving walkways. We loved those things!

Build it (or rather, rebrand it) and they will come.

20 thoughts on “Lucky Dragon Gets Zero Bids at Bankruptcy Auction

  1. Andy

    Ok now listen to me for a second. Exit Encore and start walking to the right,northbound that is….pooping your pants already ? Yeah don’t feel bad about it,the area is scary as hell.
    Location was the first problem of this place,if they had it opened on W Spring Mountain maybe and I say MAYBE it would have still been operational.
    Owners should get a hold of the place and keep it shut until Genting will come online,then it will just be a parasite casino for cheap gambling/eating/sleeping for those who will only be able to ogle at Reorts World.
    Sorry for those who plunked money for their green cards….

    Reply
  2. Boulder Steve

    I was thinking along the same lines. Make it a budget value driven hotel casino. The location and size will never attract the high end crowd..Asian or anyone else. Probably best to leave it closed till things get going on the North Strip

    Reply
  3. Booger Smoot

    Make it the first marijuana themed hotel in Vegas. Tourists would have a place to spark up in private and the place could make a fortune off of munchie sales. Ditch the casino portion so you don’t piss off the Feds too much, and let the stoners have the run of the joint.

    Reply
  4. Jeff in OKC

    I kinda wonder if the EB-5 investors could be deported. I don’t know how the system works, but I figured it was a way to buy residence in America. Possibly bypassing any line, quota or lottery.

    Reply
  5. Robin

    Great idea to bring back what made Vegas great in the first place! Reasonable room rate, food and fun… Vegas has totally lost its way…

    Reply
    1. JR

      I totally agree! Vegas is nothing like it used to be and I miss it. Call it retro or whatever you want but I wish they would take a step back in time.

      Reply
  6. Dave Wave

    I wonder why the investors need to leave? They invested the money. Does the business need to survive a period of time for the Visa to work? I wonder?

    Reply
    1. Boulder Steve

      Yes. The business needs to survive and empoly minimum # of people. Not sure how long or how many but certainly longer than the Luck Dragon lasted.

      Reply
  7. alex

    Slightly off topic, but what’s the deal with the straws? This is the 2nd or 3rd story complaining about straws. Do people really get upset if they don’t get a straw in their drink?

    Reply
    1. William Wingo

      Straws are a big PC hot button these days. An educational institution in my area is campaigning against all drinking straws to reduce the burden of plastic being dumped into the environment.

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        What they should be doing is advocating against the ACTUAL polluters – China, India and most of Southeast Asia. Take a look at the rivers in those countries… but they are poor 3rd world shitholes, so you know, they don’t have the money to save the environment… It would be better if California and Europe would ban straws and drive Prius’s instead, surely that would make a much bigger impact. :-/

        Reply
        1. Jason

          Even better…if a casino company really wanted to make an impact on “plastic waste” it should commit to purchasing items made from POST-CONSUMER recycled plastic.

          Reply
      2. alex

        I am aware of the PC part of the issue. But that’s not what’s happening here. I’ve yet to see stories of straws being banned in Las Vegas.

        I was asking if people actually get upset over not getting a straw.

        Maybe it’s just me. Having to request a straw seems like a strange thing about which to become upset.

        Reply
    2. Coop

      As Scott might say “Do you even know this blog?”.

      Slippery slope First straws then no glass. Just nipples all around the casino for us to latch on to.

      Reply
    3. Scott Roeben Post author

      I don’t know if people do, but I do. It’s conservation theater, amounting to nothing other than annoying guests.

      Reply
  8. Vegas Insight

    I almost regret I never set foot inside the Dragon. I kinda assumed it would be around for years. I didn’t think a brand new casino development would go belly up in less than two years.

    That’s part of the reason I finally made a cameo at SLS on July 2. Yeah, not the best benchmark for the vibrancy of the fancy Sahara, but given changes are coming, I figured I might as well take in that relaxed, chill vibe that one person really, really loves. I wanted at least a glimpse inside before it becomes something else I might never set foot in. (Model it after the Orleans, circa 2011, and you’ll do just fine, Grand Sahara.)

    So I regret, sort of, never seeing the inside of the Dragon, but I’m among those who think that the right operator could turn it into a destination similar to Ellis Island. The Island has far better access for those who want to low roll while staying on the strip than the Dragon offers, but I say if you Ellis Island it, they will come.

    Come to think of it, isn’t it time that Ellis Island finally starts branching out and building an empire? They’ve been at it long enough, and successfully enough, that they should be able to replicate the formula in a second location. Don’t duplicate EI, just take the EI sensibility to a second location. Can’t lose!

    Reply
  9. Smokey Peat

    Here’s my idea: “Mad World Casino & Resort”. Themed to pre-Vietnam era. Cocktail waitresses in stockings, bartenders/dealers in sharkskin suits and skinny ties. Art Deco furnishings. Focus on table games over slots and push classic cocktails. Have generally low limit tables, but a separate very nicely furnished mid/high limit salon w/out tv’s, but with good, but unobtrusive revolving lounge acts. I would play there!

    Reply
  10. Tony

    Why wouldn’t Resorts World pick this up and use it as an annex to the new Resorts World? They could be open and building the brand as the new towers are being constructed. I here there is going to be several towers built at different times anyway. If Mirage can use Shadow Creek as an annex to the their casino amenities, then this should be easy and cheap.

    Reply

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