Ten tea artists in the Cha Garden teahouse served almost 2,000 people last weekend at the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, the first hotel-casino with gongfu tea service in the U.S.
The boutique 200-room hotel-casino is located on the north side of Sahara Avenue about a half-mile west of Las Vegas Boulevard. It is the first Vegas casino to be constructed from the ground up since 2010. The 27,000 sq ft gaming floor has 300 slot machines with 37 gaming tables designed to appeal to Asian visitors and West Coast residents who play baccarat and pai gow—although there are a few blackjack and roulette tables onsite, according to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“Lucky Dragon is an exciting project for the tea industry because it makes a bold statement about authenticity and quality in tea for food service and hospitality,” Elyse Petersen told World Tea News. “As a supplier of its tea program I have been impressed with the level of authenticity its beverage program has required about each tea provided in the hotel and casino,” said Peterson, CEO at Tealet, a Las Vegas-based tea supplier. “Cha Garden has an extremely comprehensive tea menu with well-trained staff. The standards for tea at Lucky Dragon is what I believe are the basis of what the tea world is going to see as the standards for a tea sommelier identity,” she said.
“Transparency is the key,” said Lucky Dragon beverage director Joe Muscaglione. “Today, more than ever, people want to know more about what they eat and drink and where it comes from, how its grown, et cetera. Here at Cha Garden, we talk openly about our tea growers and tea masters in China. We share the stories as well as brew each tea to specifications directly from the tea masters in China. This combination delivers in the ultimate tea experience.”
Opening day began with a traditional Chinese parade with dancers and a giant 50-ft cloth dragon and paper mâché lions. Firecrackers and drums caught the attention of the Vegas crowds. Traditionally, firecrackers awaken all and the lions lead the way to good fortune.
On Friday, China-based Hainan Airlines launched nonstop flights three times a week between Beijing and Las Vegas.
Source: Lucky Dragon, Las Vegas Review Journal