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What we know about the Tropicana closure, including the fate of its name

Updated March 6, 2024 - 3:58 pm

Tropicana will shut down in phases through the day when it closes April 2, representatives of Bally’s Corp. told the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday.

And once a new resort is rebuilt along with the new Oakland Athletics stadium, the Tropicana name will go away, representatives said. In keeping with the company’s naming protocol, the new resort is slated to be called Bally’s Las Vegas when the doors eventually reopen.

As part of a phased closure of the Rat Pack-era resort, Tropicana’s casino floor will close at 3 a.m., April 2. The property’s food and beverage departments will close at noon as the last hotel customers check out, said Ameet Patel, senior vice president and western region manager for Bally’s, in an interview following the company’s hourlong appearance before the board.

Many of the Trop’s hundreds of slot machines would be redistributed to other Bally’s properties, while some would be retired, Patel said.

“We have several plans with the slot machines and gaming equipment, particularly because we have 15 other properties that would love to take the existing slot machines. So we are redistributing a lot of the gaming equipment to our sister properties,” he explained. “The ones that are obsolete, we will be putting them back on liquidation.”

The shutdown of the Trop will begin days ahead of the actual closure date, Patel said.

“We’ll have everything from chip counts and audit trails to redemptions, all those activities,” he said.

Gaming Control Board agents are expected to monitor the closure oversight. Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick said it hasn’t been determined how many agents would be dedicated to the Trop shutdown.

On the final day, the resort’s last customers staying overnight on April 1 will check out.

Stays for the Trop’s final days are in high demand with room rates 3½ times higher than normal. The hotel’s website indicated rooms were selling for $499, not counting taxes or resort fees.

Once the property is officially closed, there’s still work to be done.

“Post-closing, we’ll have up to 90 days to have team members in various phases working to completely shut down the operation and decommission the buildings,” Patel said.

One aspect of the closure that’s still up in the air is the disposition of the multimillion-dollar stained-glass tiffany glass canopy at the casino entrance.

“Yeah, we haven’t really made a decision on the stained glass,” Patel said. “We do want to make sure we have some historic preservation. We are working with the Neon Museum right now for the Tropicana sign to be lit in there. So there are several agencies locally that we are working with us to say what would be a good historical value to have.”

Bally’s management also is working with other casino companies to find jobs for Trop workers.

Patel also said several Las Vegas gaming companies have agreed to participate in a pair of job fairs later this month to hire some of the 700 existing resort employees. Post-pandemic, Tropicana had 1,000 employees. He also said the company is considering call-backs to some employees once the new resort on the site is completed and open.

The Bally’s executives appeared a day after the Oakland A’s released revised renderings of its planned $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat Major League Baseball stadium on 9 acres of the Tropicana’s 35-acre site. Marcus Glover, executive vice president and chief financial officer, explained that representatives of the A’s and landowner Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. are continuing talks to determine the best way to incorporate a new hotel-casino with the stadium.

The three parties have agreed that the timeline would include construction on the stadium beginning in 2025 with the stadium due to open for baseball’s opening day in 2028.

Glover said determining how the stadium would fit on the site was the appropriate first step toward developing the overall project.

Asked by Hendrick about whether the Tropicana would be demolished through conventional means or with a flashier celebratory implosion, Glover said that hasn’t been determined. Dan Reser, Bally’s contracted attorney, noted that an implosion would require additional environmental permits for that to occur.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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