U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada Judge Laurel Davis decided after a bankruptcy hearing for the Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino that the hotel would remain open until March 27, when the next hearing will take place. The casino, however, will remain closed and there will not be a foreclosure auction, the judge ruled, according to local television station FOX5.
The resort’s operating entity Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino LLC on Friday, Feb. 16 reportedly filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection ahead of today’s scheduled foreclosure.
The property had a brutal start when just a few months after opening, in order to cut operating costs, one of its restaurants was closed and about a hundred people including the general manager were fired, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the time.
The temporarily closing of all gaming and casino restaurant operations on January 4 further emphasized the then one-year-old Asian-themed boutique hotel and locals casino’s financial woes. At the time, the resort’s management reportedly told FOX5 that the casino was “reorganizing,” and that the temporary closure meant the laying off of casino workers and less gaming and dining options. A few weeks later in January the Lucky Dragon was served with a foreclosure notice.
FOX5 reports that during the bankruptcy hearing, attorneys for Lucky Dragon reportedly said that in November the property had been appraised at $143 million, however creditors stated that it was appraised at $60 million. Without disclosing specifics, lawyers for the hotel also reportedly said that should the Sahara Ave property become available for sale, there are a number of potential buyers.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Monday that according to bankruptcy papers, Lucky Dragon was appraised at $143 million, which was funded in part with $89.5 million worth of loans from 179 individuals who invested $500,000 each through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administered EB-5 visa program. Under the program, foreigners seeking permanent green cards can do so if they invest a minimum of $500,000 into a business venture that creates at least 10 full-time jobs.
FOX5 reports that none of the attorneys were certain of how the immigration status of those individuals.
Five years in the making from concept to ribbon-cutting, Lucky Dragon had a soft opening on November 19, 2016, and hosted its official grand opening on December 3, 2016.