Coming soon: Take a peek inside the Lucky Dragon

Special to the Sun/Mona Shield Payne

General Manager Matt Harkness stands upon the pedestrian bridge connecting the hotel and casino of the Lucky Dragon during an under-construction media tour of the Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, 300 W. Sahara Ave., in Las Vegas, July 7, 2016.

From the main gaming floor at the Lucky Dragon hotel-casino, gamblers will be able to see into a kitchen where cooks will make fresh Chinese food.

Upstairs, next to a dim sum restaurant’s main dining room, customers will see a live seafood room where they can select fish to have prepared to their liking. In the lobby of the hotel, guests will be able to visit a bar-type area that emphasizes tea over alcohol — although it will serve both.

And throughout the Lucky Dragon, set to open just off the north Strip later this year, patrons will see signs written in Chinese first and English second and be greeted by a multilingual staff.

Lucky Dragon Preview Tour

Press crews prepare to begin an under-construction media tour of the Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, 300 W. Sahara Ave., in Las Vegas, July 7, 2016. Launch slideshow »

Those are just a few of the details the Lucky Dragon’s backers hope will make their boutique hotel-casino feel genuinely Asian. It’s intended to appeal to a broad clientele, according to Chief Operating Officer Dave Jacoby.

“A lot of the conveniences that are really only afforded to the very few people that make up the high roller class here, we’ll be providing that to everyone,” Jacoby told reporters during a tour of the Lucky Dragon site today.

The hotel-casino wants to position itself as an attractive spot for domestic Asian customers, instead of focusing largely on the international market. Jacoby also thinks the Lucky Dragon can be distinct enough from another planned Asian-themed resort, the much larger Resorts World Las Vegas, which is being developed essentially just down the street.

Moreover, Jacoby believes the Lucky Dragon’s distinct offerings will be enough to help it overcome its challenging location.

Situated on Sahara Avenue just west of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Lucky Dragon faces some of the same obstacles as the nearby SLS Las Vegas: namely, a neighborhood without much foot traffic or vibrant business activity to naturally bring in throngs of customers.

Jacoby said the Lucky Dragon will stand out because it will offer, among other things, a casino that emphasizes table games — particularly baccarat — as well as an all-Asian lineup of restaurants and a consistent Asian linguistic emphasis.

“Everyone’s got a cool nightclub now; everyone’s got hip restaurants, so it’s a very crowded space to try to compete in that arena. We’re really trying to differentiate ourselves,” he said. “There’s not somewhere else to go if you want a lot of authentic Chinese food, or if you want to be able to speak Mandarin or Cantonese, or you want to be at the place that ... has the best baccarat offerings. There’s not another place to go for that.”

The Lucky Dragon is slated to feature a 27,500-square foot casino that will be highlighted by 1.25-ton hanging glass dragon sculpture. Its 203-room hotel, connected via bridge to the casino building, will include 23 standard suites averaging 625 square feet. The project also includes several restaurants, drinking areas, a pool and spa.

Workers topped off the Lucky Dragon’s hotel structure in September. The project ran into difficulty in November, when the city of Las Vegas declined to consider granting it tax increment financing.

But the Lucky Dragon’s backers announced in May that the project was fully financed, and they said they were accepting applications to fill 800 positions in June. The hotel-casino is scheduled to open sometime late this year.