Lucky Dragon finally finds a new owner, sales price is laughable
The Vegas casino that cost $160 million to build is sold for $36 million
The Lucky Dragon in Las Vegas was designed to capture the Asian gambling market, a segment the casino developers said was grossly underrepresented. However, as quickly as the casino launched, it began to fall apart – another example that a casino should never carry the word “lucky” in the title. Within six months of its grand opening, the Lucky Dragon turned off the lights on its gambling tables and, about eight months later, shut off the rest of the lights. Finally, after a number of attempts at finding a new owner, someone has finally stepped forward, paying $36 million for the venue that cost $160 million to build.
The Lucky Dragon was anything but lucky from the start. Even during construction it faced issues and, after it launched in 2017, never had close to what it had expected in traffic. It shut down gaming operations in January of last year and began looking for someone to buy the property but, after no one came forward, it filed for bankruptcy in September.
Since then, two auctions were held to try and unload the property. The response was less than overwhelming – neither auction received a single bid. Now, Don Ahren, who owns a heavy equipment rental company in Vegas, has bought the property.
What will emerge from the ashes won’t be a casino, however. Ahren wants to get rid of the former property’s bad vibes and will launch the hotel portion, which will offer 203 rooms, and plans on converting the gaming space into meeting and convention centers. This could prove to be a very lucrative move, as Las Vegas is undergoing a massive marketing campaign to promote itself to the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry.
As far as the name, Lucky Dragon is definitely off the table. Ahren has said he will strip the name off, but has yet to determine what the new venue will be called.