Lucky Dragon temporarily closes gaming, restaurants

This is a view of the main gaming area at the Lucky Dragon Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, ahead of its grand opening on December 3rd. [Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau]

"Casino temporarily closed."

It's the sign at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning that greeted Lucky Dragon employees and hotel guests.

We caught up with casino dealers and chefs as they received the bad news.

We asked one employee leaving in his car, "Have you been laid off?",

He replied, "I don't know what to tell you. Just ask them."

Lucky Dragon executives released this statement saying:

Casino worker, Michelle Lu said, "Heartbreaking. Heartbreaking. It's home."

The casino and restaurants only have been open for a year.

Gaming analysts say the casino closure jeopardizes jobs and $60 million in loans from Chinese investors.

David Schwartz--UNLV Director for the Center of Gaming and Research tells us the challenge still continues for casinos on the north Strip.

"Well, it's definitely another negative sign for the north end of the strip. Certainly, there have been a lot of problems up there. A lot of the projects that were planned have not developed so this is another roadblock for the north strip."

Lucky Dragon leaders say the hotel will still remain open. This offers not much for casino regulars.

Lucky Dragon customer Alana Decamillo said, "They were wonderful. They remembered me. They were nice to me."

Executives say they plan on having the casino and restaurants back open in six months. Casino worker Lu says she'll try to hold on to that hope.

Lu said, "Find another job life goes on. Anyway, we will get by. Hopefully, we will be back in June."

The casino released a full statement below:

Effective immediately Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino is beginning the process of repositioning and, in doing so, will have a reduction in staff while it temporarily closes all gaming and restaurant operations. The hotel and gift shop will remain fully operational including room service, morning tea and coffee. In addition, Cha Garden will remain open, featuring a full bar at night and an expanded food menu. While this is a difficult decision, this repositioning paves the way for Lucky Dragon to establish new partnerships that will enhance the property’s long-term positioning and provide a better guest experience.

We would like to thank our outstanding colleagues for their many contributions, hard work and dedication to the resort. All staff laid off will have the opportunity to rejoin the Lucky Dragon team when gaming and additional restaurant operations resume within six months.

All gaming chip and ticket redemptions can be done through the front desk at the hotel. Any previous gaming, food and beverage promotions or offers will no longer be valid.

We look forward to the future and reuniting with our team members as we implement this repositioning process.

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