The not so lucky Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is facing foreclosure just 15 months after its much-heralded launch.
On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Lucky Dragon will endure the indignity of a foreclosure auction on February 6. Clark County records indicate that the official foreclosure notice was filed last week.
The property was hit with a default notice last September on a $90m loan the property’s developer Andrew Fonfa took out in spring 2016. The loan appears to have been something of a company secret, contradicting Fonfa’s original claims that the first from-the-ground-up casino project in Las Vegas since the similarly ill-fated Cosmopolitan in 2010 was “fully financed.”
The Lucky Dragon announced earlier this month that it was “temporarily” closing its gaming floor and restaurants as the property underwent a “process of repositioning.” The Asian-themed casino’s official Twitter account claimed the shuttered amenities would likely re-open “within six months.”
That shutdown came a little over one year after the off-Strip property’s grand opening in late 2016. The casino, which featured Mandarin as its primary language on hotel signage, planned to cater to the city’s local Chinese residents, as well as draw in ex-pat Chinese from southern California.
But the venue was said to have struggled within months of its opening, failing to attract its intended Chinese audience and reportedly making non-Asian clientele feel unwelcome. The casino’s less than generous comps policy only served to exacerbate the situation.
Whoever acquires the Lucky Dragon at next month’s auction will have to decide whether to retain the property’s Asian theme or undertake an extensive remodeling to appeal to a broader customer base. Whatever the new owners decide, they better move fast, as casino staff have reportedly already begun dismantling some of the Lucky Dragon’s 200-plus slot machines.