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Big Changes Coming to the Trop

By MikeE on Thursday, 4th June 2009 4:17am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6



The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported today that Kirk Kerkorian's former homeboy, Alex Yemenidjian (yem-n-idg-ian), is planning on giving some much-needed attention to the aging Tropicana property.

With an initial budget exceeding $100 million, casino, room, pool, and convention renovations are in place. Additionally, two new restaurants, a bar, sports book, poker room, and new tables and slot machines are also in the works.

All this for an initial budget of $100 million? It might sound like a lot, but to put it in perspective, that's what Steve Wynn spent on building XS nightclub at Encore alone. And a Tropicana refurb isn't exactly the same as that of a Mirage or Venetian where a flat panel television, high thread count bed sheets, and a few other touches are enough to renew life to a room already clad in marbles and silks. I'm guessing the Trop's going to require a thorough gutting of it's rooms, upgrades to its heating, ventilation, air conditioning and everything else.

At least Yemenidjian is realistic:

It is clear to us the cost of the transformation of the Tropicana Las Vegas to a property that is fresh and relevant will far exceed $100 million.

Any investment into the Trop is long overdue and welcome at this point. Here's just hoping the goal to make the resort "fresh and relevant" again is still in place when the budget inevitably skyrockets far above the $100 million mark.



Comments & Discussion:

The money pit is hungry again.

I wonder what their longer term plan for the Trop is. Is this facelift meant to keep the joint semi-competitive with Riviera et.al. for five years until they can get enough credit to implode OR to prove the property still has enough juice and/or locational appeal left to potential new owners with deeper pockets and bigger dreams.

I'm sorry, am I the only one that thinks the Tropicana is so awful that it's great? I mean bartenders with the "yeah I've been nude on film" mustaches and rose tinted cop glasses, dirty everything, smoky, stank, how can you go wrong??
I don't think I'd ever stay there. But I make it a point to go there at least twice on every Vegas trip. (Which I will be in Oct 11-16 signing autographs..j/k)

I have no intentions of staying at the Tropicana in the near future but I always stop there. I like the cheesey bands at the Celebration lounge and the gaming conditions are not bad by strip standards.

I have to say, I stayed there last year and it was completely tolerable in the Paradise tower, and MILES ahead of the other options in the price range (39$). The Room was not dirty, had a nice view of the strip, had comfortable beds, and decent amenities. The dining wasnt half bad, and its close to great options at MGM, Mandalay and Luxor. The Pool was pretty damn fun actually. Waterfalls, volleyball, cool landscaping, and pretty well maintained. The Mint Mondays thing they have going on with concerts at the pool was really enjoyable. All of that said, Id love to see the Trop restored to its former glory. (Even though i am in a fairly large minority!)

The Trop is still a viable property, but there is only so much patching one can do before you begin to patch the patches.

The Trop is in a strange predicament. If they don't refurb, their room rates will continue to go down and higher spending guests will flock to other better properties, furthering the downward spiral.

If they refurb as outlined above, it will be a considerable investment that will put it into competition with resorts it was competing with before the shit hit the fan there two years ago, i.e., Riviera, Sahara, Strat, maybe Excal, most of whom have already done the modernization upgrades that Trop is planning to do now.

If they elect to spend even further on upgrades it puts them in competition with properties that have facilities half the age of the Trop's. No matter what, they will always be playing the expensive game of catch up.

Over the long term, their best solution is the one they can't afford... blow the place up and build a high-mid tier joint that makes the surrounding joints look dated in comparison. Imagine if Trop was imploded and was replaced by The Beauty In The Boonies aka M Resort.

100 million will become at least 300 million in no time. The last time i was there the escalators didnt work, the place still looked dirty and the staff was just sort of there. the gaming area doesnt look bad but the place gives off a 'lets, walk thru fast so that we dont get our clothes dirty' vibe. it would be wonderful if the Trop became a cool place to stay at just because of the size and location but 100 mill isnt going to make much of a dent. It is, however, a start.

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