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Lucky Dragon, Las Vegas' first newly built hotel in 6 years, ready to open

A new Las Vegas hotel-casino catering to Asian travelers will welcome its first guests Saturday afternoon with little fanfare. The quiet start is unusual in the city that typically revels in splashy openings.

But the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino on West Sahara Avenue about a block from the Strip isn’t a typical resort. It’s small by Vegas standards and will serve authentic Chinese food at its restaurants.

The hotel is the first new-build resort to open on or near the Strip since 2010 when the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas came on line.

 

A grand opening is slated for Dec. 3, but all of the property’s features – a casino, four restaurants, a tea garden and 203 hotel rooms – will be fully functioning when the doors open at 8  p.m. Saturday. Originally the opening was scheduled for 4 p.m., but on Friday officials announced a four-hour delay.

So what will be different? Vegas visitors will find the ratio of slot machines to tables will be much lower. Food at the hotel’s restaurants will feature Chinese cooking, not Chinese American fare. 

And then there are the puzzling elevators. There’s a “10” button at the nine-story hotel because there’s no official fourth floor. (The number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture.) 

In contrast, the number 8 is meant to bring good fortune, so the casino bar is purposely eight-sided. And the hotel’s phone numbers – including its main number (702) 889-8018 – favor 8 while avoiding 4.

“We drove the phone company crazy,” chief operating officer Dave Jacoby says. “They gave us a list of [proposed] phone numbers, and we threw out so many.”

Jacoby isn’t expecting a huge influx of guests from Beijing or Shanghai. He predicts that only about 10% of Lucky Dragon’s clientele will come from Asia, though those who do are expected to spend more money than the average guest.

Rather, he expects about a third of the hotel’s customers to come from Southern California. Jacoby also expects large numbers of visitors from other West Coast cities with large Asian communities, such as San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada.  

And he’s not expecting high rollers, either. Lucky Dragon will cater to middle- and upper-middle-class visitors, Jacoby says, noting high-end Asian players likely will continue to gamble at private gaming rooms at other Vegas casinos.

Room prices shown online start at $488 through November, then drop as low as $188 in December.

Info: Lucky Dragon Casino & Hotel, (702) 889-8018

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UPDATES:

5:29 p.m. This article was updated with a new time for the opening of the Lucky Dragon on Saturday.

This article was originally published at 6 a.m. 

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