Tropicana is Officially Closing

January 30, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

The Tropicana is officially closing on April 2, 2024

The resort was conceived by Ben Jaffe, part owner of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The $15 million Tropicana opened on April 4, 1957, as the most expensive Las Vegas resort developed up to that point. By the 1970s, the Tropicana had difficulty competing against larger, newer resorts, eventually losing its prominence as a luxury property.

The Tropicana includes a 44,570 sq ft (4,141 m2) casino and 1,467 rooms. The hotel originally opened with low-rise structures containing 300 rooms, and the property would later launch several expansions, including two hotel towers added in 1979 and 1986 respectively. The latter tower was accompanied by the introduction of an island theme for the property. The Tropicana has been host to various live entertainment, including the topless showgirl revue known as Folies Bergere. It ended in 2009, after nearly 50 years, and remains the longest-running show in Las Vegas history.

The Tropicana underwent numerous ownership changes throughout its history. Mob connections were present at the time of its opening, and an FBI investigation in 1979 uncovered a skimming operation at the resort. It was sold that year to Ramada Inns, which later transferred ownership to its spin-off company, Aztar Corporation, in 1989.

During the 2000s, Aztar considered demolishing the Tropicana for development of a new resort, although this did not come to fruition. Columbia Sussex bought the resort in 2007, but lost it to bankruptcy two years later, with Onex Corporation emerging as the new owner. Onex launched a $180 million renovation, the property's first since 1986. The project, completed in 2011, added a South Beach theme.

Penn National Gaming bought the Tropicana in 2015, before selling it to Bally's in 2022. A year later, the Oakland Athletics baseball team reached an agreement with Bally's to demolish the Tropicana, making way for two new projects: a baseball stadium on nine acres of the site, and a new resort bearing the Bally's name on the remaining land. The Tropicana is scheduled to close on April 2, 2024, and is expected to be demolished by the end of the year.


 
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