Creating their own public relations nightmare, the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino went cap in hand to the City of Las Vegas to ask for a $25 million loan bailout for their under construction "authentic Asian cultural and gaming experience." The City's Redevelopment Agency voted down the opportunity to invest tax dollars in an unbuilt casino by a vote of 6 to 1.
The $25 million is crucial to meet requirements from the First Foundation Bank, which promised to float the project an additional $30 million if Lucky Dragon could match with their own money. The resort claims initial very successful investments via the foreign, EB-5 program have now "dried up."
According to the Lucky Dragon team, at stake were 3,600 jobs and the ability to revitalize an "horrendously depressed area." That "horrendous" footprint includes fresh neighbors SLS Las Vegas, the MGM Resorts' Las Vegas Festival Grounds, a giant Walgreens, the under new ownership Bonanza Gift Shop, Flock & Fowl, the Stratosphere and from Andrew Fonfa, the Lucky Dragon resort's co-developer, his very own Allure residential building directly next door. None of the close neighbors had taken the unusual route of approaching the city for a property tax secured loan.
Lucky Dragon has yet to release a statement hinting how current staff plan to make up the financial shortfall and whether they will follow through with their threat of pausing the project. Paperwork filed with the city warned as little as a three-month delay would cause an additional $5 million in overrun costs.
If the developers had won the $25 million jackpot, an August 2016 debut was promised for the 375,000-square-foot, 204-room, nine-story, 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.