In a gaming pantheon bejeweled with mega-resorts, the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino won't set records. But it remains an important development for the city of Las Vegas.
Under construction on Sahara Avenue just west of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Lucky Dragon features a nine-story tower and more than 200 rooms above a casino that will cater to Asian gamblers. Contractor Penta Building Group topped off the tower in a ceremony Sept. 11, and casino and business publications have been enthusing about the pace of construction and potential of the project. The project manager has called the construction schedule on the 2.5-acre site "aggressive."
No doubt part of that confidence is linked to the project's high-profile investors, longtime real estate developer Andrew Fonfa and veteran gaming industry executive William Weidner. Fonfa developed the flashy Allure condominiums adjacent to the Lucky Dragon site, and Weidner is the former Las Vegas Sands president who has been planning casinos worldwide in recent years. (The Lucky Dragon was originally intended to be Allure's second tower.) The project also has planned to benefit from passive financing through the federal EB-5 program, which enables qualifying foreigners to gain permanent U.S. residency if their investments generate a substantial economic impact and employment.
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