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TropWatch: Movable Buffet Talks With Top Trop Brass

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 7th June 2010 1:56am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 5


Buried deep within the Los Angeles Times Calendar section yesterday was a rare reappearance, or temporary re-functing, of the defunct Movable Buffet column by VT friend and fellow Zappa freak Sen. Richard Abowitz.

In it, Sen. Abowitz digs into the some of the details related to the Tropicana renovations, including an interview with the head honcho Alex Yemenidjian, whom both he and I agree is an impeccable dresser.

I came away from reading it even more impressed with Mr. Yemenidjian than I was before. Check out this money...

People come to Las Vegas because they want to see things that would be out of place at home. One of the triumphs of the great Las Vegas properties started by the Mirage is that they are both accessible and aspirational. Mediocrity is our enemy. In Las Vegas we create a world of fantasy.

Bingo. He also goes on to say who won't be the Tropicana's customers and discusses why he hates drapery. To make matters even better, our very own Dr. in residence, Dr. David 'Dave702' Schwartz throws the wet blanket of historical objectivity on the proceedings, but still offers Yemenidjian a two-outer on the river.

Another piece of essential news gathering from Sen. Abowitz. Kudos.

The Movable Buffet: Tropicana Improves Its Image via L.A. Times

Tagged: tropicana   alex yemenidjian   movable buffet   


Comments & Discussion:

Can we give Abowitz a medal please. This is essential reading for any current Vegas design aficionado. Kudos also to Dr. Dave (ever known as Carpet man to me) for giving some factual interjection when needed.

Who's up for a mayday march on the Times to bring him back?

And also balls out to the Trop folks for taking a chance. Lets hope it pays off, but folks, turn down the lights.

Sounds like a smart dude. If he can achieve "best in class" among the 3.5 stars (Luxor, NYNY, Bally's, Flamingo, Harrahs, TI) then that would be quite an upgrade.

He's dead on right with the money quote too. People don't want world-class urban architecture a la City Center, they want Vegas design.

Yeah, I wanted to make the point that Alex Y wasn't running with the wind to his back on this one. The 1Q numbers make that point too. But at the very least he knows what he's doing. It's refreshing to hear someone that the level able to articulate exactly what his plan is. But it's not going to be easy.

Here are some Expedia room rates for 6/16-1/18 to ponder:

Trop garden room: $32.49 avg rate
Trop Island tower: $39 avg rate
Trop Paradise tower (new rooms): $52 avg rate

It's hard to see how this pencils out in the short term: if all of the Paradise rooms book at this rate with 100% occupancy for the year, they generate an extra $4,745 per room for the year. Even if we say there are 1,000 rooms (I'd guess it's closer to 700), that's about $47,000 total in extra income for the year.

On the other side of the equation, there's the possibility that people wouldn't have paid $39 for the old rooms; they just would have stayed elsewhere. And of course you've got the incremental gaming and F&B revenue that increased occupancy will bring.

I really hope they succeed--Mr. Y definitely "gets it." But it's still going to be tough. If he succeeds, he deserves whatever the Vegas equivalent of the Nobel Prize is.

Wow, when I read this, I thought the Trop was installing a movable (Tokyo Style) buffet. They DID say a new buffet was coming in the future.. :P

Mr. Y is spot on regarding mediocrity and what people want out of Las Vegas. The urban architecture of City Center would transcend the blighted skyline of a city like, say, my hometown of St. Louis, MO. Ironically, on the Las Vegas strip, City Center IS a blight to the city's skyline.

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