[toc]It took almost six years, but the Las Vegas corridor finally has a brand new addition to the list of casinos.
Lucky Dragon Casino is the first brand-new structure to open since the Cosmopolitan in 2010. The new Asian-focused property is located less than a block from Las Vegas Blvd. on Sahara Ave.
More about Lucky Dragon Casino
Lucky Dragon features 37 table games, over 300 slot machines, and 203 hotel rooms.
The site also serves as home to five restaurants serving various Asian cuisines. The majority of dining has a Cantonese bent, but restaurants also feature Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.
The casino is catered to Asian and Asian-American gamblers. Chief operating officer Dave Jacoby told the L.A. Times he expects about 10 percent of patrons to come from Asia.
The main target market is Asian Americans living in nearby Southern California. The 2010 census estimated roughly 10 percent of the greater Los Angeles population is of Asian descent.
The casino knows its customer base. The casino was designed with feng shui in mind. The bar is eight-sided for good luck and there is no fourth floor, as four is an unlucky number in many Asian cultures.
Why this is important for Vegas casino growth?
Other casinos have been rebranded and opened since 2010.
The Lucky Dragon is the first brand-new casino construction project in the Strip area since 2010, though. The property is another boutique casino in the vein of The Cromwell, The Cosmopolitan and the SLS.
However, the Asian focus makes it a unique attraction with a much clearer target demo.
The Asian market is often tapped as one primed for growth. One thing helping Lucky Dragon is the recent addition of a nonstop flight from Beijing to Vegas on Hainan Airlines.
Opening day festivities
The soft opening for the new casino was on Nov. 19. The honor of the first hand went to recent World Series of Poker Main Event winner Qui Nguyen.
The soft open went well. The official grand opening came on Dec. 3 and featured quite a bit of celebration. There were dragon and lion dancers as part of an elaborate parade through the property. It ended with a firecracker lighting.
Patrons in attendance not only got a show and a look at the property. They also got complimentary tea from a number of tea sommeliers stationed around the gaming area.
The casino is still brand new, so it is difficult to fully evaluate how well it is doing. As a unique offering for a niche market, it certainly stands out among the rash of boutique hotels that have cropped up over the past few years.