Tropicana Las Vegas

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Tropicana Las Vegas
TropicanaLogo.svg
Tropicana Las Vegas, north tower.JPG
Address 3801 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Opening date April 4, 1957
Theme South Beach Miami
No. of rooms 1,467 Guest Rooms & Suites
Total gaming space 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2)
Permanent shows Laugh Factory Comedy Club
Mamma Mia
Murray Celebrity Magician
Casino type Land-Based
Owner Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Resort Inc.[1][2][3][4]
Operating license holder Armenco Holdings
Years renovated 1979, 1986, 2011
Website www.troplv.com

Tropicana Las Vegas is located on the Las Vegas Strip, in the township of Paradise, Nevada. It is owned by Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Resort Inc. and operated by Alex Yemenidjian's Armenco Holdings. It offers 1,467 rooms and is attached to a 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) casino. Tropicana Las Vegas also has 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of convention and exhibit space.

This location, Tropicana – Las Vegas Boulevard intersection, has the most hotel rooms of any intersection in the world and is extremely busy. Pedestrians are not allowed to cross at street level. Instead, the Tropicana is linked by overhead pedestrian bridges to its neighboring casinos: to the north across Tropicana Avenue, the MGM Grand Las Vegas, and to the west across the Strip, the Excalibur.

History[edit]

The leaded-glass ceiling of the Tropicana casino

In 1955, Ben Jaffe, an executive of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, came to Las Vegas and bought a 40-acre parcel at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Bond Road (now Tropicana Avenue).[5] Jaffe aimed to build the finest hotel in Las Vegas, featuring a Cuban ambience, with four room themes for guests to choose from: French Provincial, Far East, Italian Renaissance, and Drexel.[5]

Construction ran over schedule and over budget, due in part to competition for labor with the under-construction Stardust down the road.[5] Jaffe had to sell his interest in the Fontainebleau to complete the project, which finally opened in April 1957.[5]

Jaffe first leased the property to his associate, Phil Kastel. The Gaming Control Board raised suspicions over Kastel's links to organized crime, which were confirmed in May when a note bearing a Tropicana earnings figure was found in the possession of mobster Frank Costello.[5] Jaffe next turned to J. Kell Housells, owner of the Las Vegas Club. By 1959, Housells bought out Jaffe's interest, gaining a majority share in the Tropicana.[5]

In the 1960s, the Tropicana fared poorly from competition with larger hotels like Caesars Palace and the Las Vegas Hilton.[5] Houssels sold out in 1968 to Trans-Texas Airways.[5] Deil Gustafson took control in 1971, but sold a 51% share to chemical heiress Mitzi Stauffer Briggs in 1975. Briggs began construction of the 22-floor Tiffany Tower in 1977.

A skimming operation by Kansas City organized crime members was discovered, and the owners were forced to sell out. Ramada Inns, Inc. bought the Tropicana in December 1979.

A 21-story Island Tower was constructed in 1986.

Ramada spun off its gaming properties, including the Tropicana, in 1989 as Aztar Corporation. Aztar was acquired by Columbia Sussex in January 2007, but Columbia's gaming businesses went into bankruptcy in May 2008.

The Tropicana, which had a $440 million secured loan against it,[6] was bought from the bankrupt company in July 2009 by its creditors, led by Canadian private equity firm Onex Corporation and former MGM Mirage CEO Alex Yemenidjian, who took over as CEO.[7]

The remainder of Columbia Sussex's gaming arm, reorganized under new ownership as Tropicana Entertainment Inc., promptly sued the Las Vegas property, demanding royalties for use of the Tropicana name. The case was settled in August 2011, with the Tropicana Las Vegas receiving exclusive rights to use the name in the Las Vegas region, royalty-free.[8]

Film history[edit]

  • A scene from Folies Bergere is featured in the 1964 Elvis Presley film Viva Las Vegas.
  • In the 7th James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, 007 stays at the hotel Tropicana, claiming it looks "quite comfortable".
  • The Las Vegas sequence of The Godfather was filmed in the Tropicana.
  • The hotel is also referred briefly in The Godfather Part II and a few deleted scenes take place inside the hotel. To avoid copyright issues, the name of the hotel was changed to "Tropigala" during filming, although the original name remained in the final draft of the script.
  • The TV series Vegas was also filmed at the Tropicana Hotel during the 1970s.
  • It was featured on the TV Show Charlie's Angels in the episode "Angels In Vegas" in 1978 with Dean Martin guest starring.
  • It was featured on the TV Show Angel in the episode "The House Always Wins" as the casino where the character Lorne had his show.
  • A show was taped here for Malcolm in the Middle in 2003.
  • A two part episode of Designing Women, Season 7, is set here. Anthony meets and marries a showgirl from the Folies Begere.
  • The game shows Dealer's Choice & Las Vegas Gambit were taped here.
  • The first half of the first season of the revival of the game show Let's Make a Deal was being taped here. Hosted by Wayne Brady, it began airing on CBS October 5, 2009.[9] The show moved to Los Angeles during a reconstruction period.

Expansion[edit]

On November 2, 2006, Tropicana Entertainment publicly announced a $2 billion renovation of the Tropicana planned to be completed in 2010, making it the largest resort casino in the world. Unlike previous Las Vegas projects however, there would have been no demolition of the entire resort. The existing Paradise and Island towers would have received both interior and exterior renovations and 4 new towers would have been built on the property (the last was planned to be branded as a separate hotel).

The plans included a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) casino, five hotel towers totalling 10,000 rooms and a sprawling 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) retail promenade. Other amenities included spas and fitness centers; more than 20 restaurants and lounges; a 1,500-seat entertainment venue for big-name headliners; and a water–ride attraction. All improvements to the property were put on hold since the recession began in 2008, and became moot when Tropicana Entertainment filed for bankruptcy.

In August 2009, the Tropicana's new CEO, Alex Yemenidjian, announced a "$165 million" plan to renovate the property around a South Beach style, to be done in several phases. The first phase would renovate the Tropicana's back office facilities with completion planned for the end of 2009. The second phase would renovate the conference facilities, rooms, and common areas, with construction to finish at the end of August 2010. The third phase, including a Nikki Beach Night Club and Nikki Beach multi-million dollar pool renovation is planned to be completed by April 2011.[10]

In February 2011, the Tropicana opened a new sports book, operated by Cantor Gaming.[11]

Amenities and entertainment[edit]

Entertainment[edit]

The Laugh Factory opened its venue at the New Tropicana Las Vegas in April 2012. As of November 2013 there are two shows per night.[12]

The Mob Attraction Las Vegas features artifacts of famous mobsters such as Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky, with video presentations hosted by James Caan.[13] Live actors recreate scenes in casino backrooms and police stations.[13] The attraction was opened as the Las Vegas Mob Experience in March 2011 by Las Vegas businessman Jay Bloom, but after six months of poor attendance, technical problems, and litigation, the bulk of it closed for retooling,[14] and its parent company then filed for bankruptcy.[15] Investor John Vipulis bought the attraction for $2.1 million and reopened it under its new name in March 2012.[16]

From 1959 the Tropicana hosted the Folies Bergére Show, the longest running revue theater show in Las Vegas. It closed down March 27, 2009, shortly before its 50th anniversary.[17]

Fine Dining[edit]

Biscayne Steak, Sea & Wine is one of the top-rated steakhouses on the Las Vegas Strip, offering sizzling cuts and Safe Harbor-certified fresh seafood in an island-infused atmosphere, as well as a 200-bottle wine list featuring wines from around the world.

Open 24 hours a day, Beach Café allows visitors to enjoy delectable cuisine inside the bright and open dining room or outside among the waterfalls and lush greenery of the Tropicana pool – the ideal dining experience, day or night.

Named the Best Italian Restaurant and one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in Las Vegas, Bacio® Italian Cuisine is an elegant trattoria serving authentic Italian fare. Bacio® favors simplicity over complexity and allows the true flavors of these authentic Italian dishes to shine through.

Shopping[edit]

Along with the retail shop Essentials, located in the lobby adjacent to the main entrance, there are several Mini Boutiques located in Palm Way on the second floor. These include, Marshall Rousso Accessories, Tropicana Logo, Flip Flop Stop, Accessories, and Gemstones & Globes.

Other Amenities[edit]

In addition to the casino, the Tropicana includes a swimming pool.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Trop owner vows return to glory (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
  2. ^ Tropicana Las Vegas emerges from bankruptcy (Associated Press)
  3. ^ Onex takes control of Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel (Reuters)
  4. ^ Onex, Yemenidjian Take Over Tropicana Vegas Casino (Bloomberg L.P.)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Moehring, Eugene P. (2000). Resort city in the sunbelt: Las Vegas, 1930-2000. University of Nevada Press. pp. 84–86. ISBN 0-87417-356-6. 
  6. ^ Knightly, Arnold (6 May 2008). "Tropicana Entertainment files bankruptcy". Casino City Times. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew (3 July 2009). "Onex takes control of Las Vegas landmark". Toronto Star. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Green, Steve (16 August 2011). "Strip resort, Carl Icahn company settle dispute over ‘Tropicana’ use". Vegas Inc. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  9. ^ On Camera Audiences — The official ticket source for your favorite shows
  10. ^ Knightly, Arnold M. (2009-08-16). "THE STRIP: Historic Tropicana poised for pricey renovation". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  11. ^ Cantor Gaming (4 February 2011). "Cantor Gaming launches new race and sports book at Tropicana Las Vegas". Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ a b O'Reiley, Tim (1 March 2012). "Refit for a Hit: Mob Attraction opens at Tropicana". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Katsilometes, John (9 September 2011). "Mob Experience closing down much of the ‘experience’ to make upgrades". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Green, Steve (17 October 2011). "Mob Experience at Tropicana files for bankruptcy". Vegas Inc. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Green, Steve (5 March 2012). "Tropicana mob exhibit consultant: ‘Nobody has an attraction like this’". Vegas Inc. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  17. ^ NPR: Folies Bergere To Close In Las Vegas

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°05′57″N 115°10′15″W / 36.0992°N 115.1708°W / 36.0992; -115.1708