The Lucky Dragon in Las Vegas has proven to be anything but lucky. It halted its gaming operations this past January, after about a year after opening, and subsequently closed all operations by last month. Since then it has tried to find someone willing to take a chance on purchasing it, but there have been no takers. Even when it was put up for auction in September, not a single bid was received. It has now held its second auction and the results were no better than they were last time.
The off-strip foreclosed property went to auction this past Tuesday with an opening bid of $35 million, according to the Washington Times. Three individuals had been pre-qualified to submit bids; however, not one was willing to take the plunge. The closest thing it has to an owner now is the chain-link fence that surrounds the property.
The Lucky Dragon, which cost around $160 million to build, was designed to capture an Asian market, which developers said were unrepresented in Vegas. They said at the time that it would be the “first resort delivering an authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience.” It includes a casino floor measuring 27,500 square feet, a hotel with 203 rooms, space for restaurants and bar, a retail space and other amenities. When it opened, it offered 30 gaming tables, 300 slot machines, the hotel and not much else.
The venue was financed, in part, by Chinese investors who were promised U.S. residency in exchange for their investments. The deal is part of a U.S. visa program that awards residency for making sizeable investments, of at least $500,000, in certain industries that can lead to the creation of more jobs.
Those investors are now out of their investments and their shot at residency. They were hoping to be able to work out a deal with any new buyer, but, with no takers, there is little chance that they will ever be able to recuperate their funds or live the American dream.
Las Vegas could still soon see an Asian-themed resort. Close to the site of the now-shuttered casino is the proposed site of the Genting Resorts World Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2020.