Tropicana – History

The original building, with the Garden room wings, was built in 1957. The Paradise Tower, consisting of 22 floors of guest rooms and suites, was built in 1979 as the Tiffany Tower, adjoining the resort’s Tiffany Theatre, until March 28, 2009 home to the Folies Bergère production show. A 21-story Island Tower was constructed in 1986.

[singlepic id=638 w=320 h=240 float=left]The original owners were Ben Jaffe and Colonel Charles Baron. In 1957, a slip of paper was found on mobster Frank Costello showing the gross casino winnings of the Tropicana. As a result, Nevada gaming authorities ordered the removal of the casino manager, Louis J. Lederer. Deil Gustafson took control of the Tropicana in 1971, but sold a 51% share to chemical heiress Mitzi Stauffer Briggs Smith in 1975. In the late 1970s a skimming operation by Kansas City organized crime members was discovered, and the owners were forced to sell out. In December of 1979, Ramada Inns, Inc. bought the Tropicana, but in 1989 spun it off along with other casino properties in a separate company called Aztar. In 2006, Aztar was acquired by Columbia Sussex, but Columbia soon ran into financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy.

In May 2006, Tropicana Entertainment, LLC acquired the Tropicana Resort & Casino Las Vegas from then publicly-traded Aztar Corporation for approximately $2.1 billion in cash. The acquisition was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission on November 17, 2006 and was completed in December of that year.

Bodies: The Exhibition, a presentation of 21 human bodies that have been dissected and preserved for the collection and Titanic—the Artifacts Exhibition, were featured from 2005 to 2008. Both shows are now at the Luxor.

On May 15, 2009 it was reported by the Las Vegas Sun and Forbes that Canadian investment firm Onex Corporation will take control of the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas from Tropicana Entertainment when it emerges from bankruptcy later this year. Alex Yemenidjian who previously served as CEO of both the MGM Mirage resort company and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio under Kirk Kerkorian’s ownership has been tapped by Onex to be the Las Vegas Strip resort’s new CEO and oversee the casino’s day to day operations.

Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Resort Inc. is the company formed by Onex in which it has the controlling interest but it has several equity partners. Tropicana Las Vegas Inc. owns the property.

Expansion

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 will be branded as a separate hotel).

The plans included a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) casino, five hotel towers totaling 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
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Tropicana Resort & Casino”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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