The North Strip's Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is rising rapidly, but the owners say they need a new multi-million injection of cash if they are going to meet their projected opening date, now revealed to be August 2016.
Operators Las Vegas Economic Impact Regional Center and Lucky Dragon LP have formally approached the City of Las Vegas for "tax increment financing," or TIF assistance, to help fund the last steps to completion. If they can raise an additional $25 million, the First Foundation Bank will float them the final $30 million necessary to finish construction.
Lucky Dragon has been financed with an initial $60 million of EB-5 foreign investment money, but they have hit that program's fund raising limit. Warning as little as a three-month delay would cause an additional $5 million in overrun costs, Lucky Dragon hopes the city's Redevelopment Agency will take the very unusual measure of jumping in and provide extra funding. They note the money would assure local jobs and lock in state-approved wage scales for workers. The agency will meet later this month to discuss the proposal.
The revelations also uncover new details about the $139.25 million, 375,000-square-foot, 204-room, visually dramatic concept. The current official amenity tally is 48 gaming tables, 350 slot machines, five restaurants, four lounges, a pool, a spa, and "modest" retail stores. A second-floor sky bridge will connect the hotel to the casino. In all, 408 parking spots are being created for guests to encounter "an authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience."
One high-end restaurant is now currently named Ming Zhu, offering views of the south Strip in the distance. A small outdoor terrace will be accessible from one of the restaurants. On the casino level, the Night Market will operate as a deli and casual dining destination, initially proposed to offer Beijing-inspired "Wangfujing street snacks."
Choices of noodle bars, high-end dim sum or Yum Cha, and tea cafés were promised to early investors. A Center Bar under a giant dragon art piece will dominate the casino area, surrounded by four table game sections. In the hotel building, a combination lobby bar and tea room sits across from the check-in desk.
Impressively fast construction work has already begun to install glass windows into the hotel building, making real the striking ruby red design by EV&A Architects.