News broke recently that the world famous Tropicana Hotel and Casino, the third oldest casino in Las Vegas, is going to close down.
Owned by Bally’s Corporation and located slap bang on the Las Vegas strip, the Hotel Casino is so famous that Tropicana Avenue – which crosses the strip – is named after it.
It was first built way back in 1957, making it 66 years old as of 2023, and has undergone many changes since then, but it has always been there in that same location, making it feel like a lynch pin of sin city to many.
It has featured in movies like Viva Las Vegas, The Godfather, Charlie’s Angels – even James Bond has stayed here, saying in Diamond’s are Forever that he heard the Tropicana was “quite comfortable”.
It has gone through many different owners in its time too, the last change of hands occurring just last year when Bally’s took the reigns, and it seems that closure was always their plan, but not for good.
Deal with Oakland A’s
The reason behind this ‘temporary’ closure, is that Bally’s have come to an agreement with the Oakland A’s (the baseball team made famous by the Brad Pitt movie, Moneyball), to create a new stadium/casino resort on their plot.
The casino own a lot of land that could be better utilised, so the plan would be to build a new stadium for the A’s on that land, then practically rebuild the casino too, which would create a unique hybrid sporting and casino venue that would benefit both businesses.
It would offer an entertainment package not offered anywhere else in the world according to Bally’s, but there are still plenty of legal hoops to jump through before the green light is given.
So it is a possible closure rather than a definite one, and if it does go ahead it would re-open eventually, although it would be nothing like the casino we know today.
That said, the casino would be known as Bally’s rather than the Tropicana, so in a sense, it really would be the end for this Las Vegas institution.
That closure is expected to go ahead in 18-24 months assuming plans are not rejected by the state and other license issuing bodies which are involved, so the 1,500 or so employees are in limbo land.
Bally’s Issue FAQ Style Email to Employees
It’s not the most sensitive way of delivering the news, but employees at the Tropicana opened their inboxes to find an FAQ style email explaining what was going to happen.
One of the questions read:
Q – Will I lose my job?
A – Yes, although, while Tropicana Las Vegas will be closed temporarily for redevelopment, we anticipate that employees will find an enhanced career opportunity when the casino hotel resort reopens
They went on to explain that current staff will be given preference on employment opportunities when the new resort opens, and that Bally’s will maintain employee seniority.
Although given that there is going to be up to 2 years worth of work to get the new resort to the opening stage, that’s probably of little consolation – who can survive for 2 years without a job?
They have an anxious few years ahead of them, and I will update you with any new information as it comes in.