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Welcome To The New Tropicana Las Vegas Hilton Double Tree

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 30th October 2012 1:57pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Late last week, The Tropicana and Hilton's DoubleTree brand announced a franchise partnership which brings the Hilton name back to "The Strip." The Tropicana gets access to Hilton HHonors marketing, booking and massive rolodex and the Hilton gets the first slice off the top without carrying any of the debt or responsibility.

The property will be officially renamed Tropicana Las Vegas - a DoubleTree by Hilton shortly after the new year.

I'm not really sure what the hell to make of this. Obviously, the Tropicana isn't performing as CEO Alex Yemenidjian's forecasts had expected, despite completing herculean task of transforming a certifiable shit hole into a strong "best in (middle) class" performer.

What I do find worrisome about this deal is that Yemenidijian has had absolutely zero luck so far enacting the Murrenish policy of slicing off pieces of the resort to external forces in the hopes of making the numbers add up. A resort isn't about fresh paint, clean carpet and friendly customer service... it is about crafting the customer experience by presenting a seamless end-to-end array of exquisite customer experiences. If you are lucky enough to own all four walls of your property, you have a rare opportunity to build a very special machine. If not, you'll ultimately suffer from Sbarro Syndrome.

On second thought, Cosmopolitan has curated some stellar content (plus pizza) coupled it with Marriott's rolodex and even hired ex-Trop fixer Tom McCartney and look where it's gotten them. Fledgling, but with lovely plumage.

Perhaps the days of independent operator are officially over. Is it even possible for the Tropicana, Cosmopolitan, Riviera, LVH, Hard Rock, Treasure Island et al. to compete without having that ginormous customer database, rickety but functional comp clubs and their super secret value extraction algorithms? When you're dealing with filling 1,500+ rooms a night, you're sunk... hence the franchise agreements.

Does this agreement - or any of these marketing franchise agreements Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Best Western, Accor etc. - make you more or less inclined to stay at a given property? Obviously these agreements work as franchisers are constantly looking to boost their hotel group footprint and franchisees are signing the first bite of their large double anchovy away.

Tagged: tropicana   doubletree   hilton   cosmopolitan   independent spirit   


Comments & Discussion:

They also raised their resort fee again...

Maybe Yemenidjian's looking to bail.

Are they going to put all that on the signage? I have stayed there for the past three years and would have never imagined even going back into the place after wandering in back in 2004 when the property looked dark and dingy. This may be a good thing in the long run and maybe the move will add a few more food options since I have never eaten there during my stays.

Sportsbook: Out

Celebu-chef: Out (http://vegas.eater.com/archives/2012/10/26/shocker-carla-pellegrino-out-at-the-trops-bacio.php)

Gladys Knight: Out

The Pips: Who knows?

Nikki Beach: Out

Since most of the escalators were down during the VIMP when I went in and out of the Trop to hit the Strip I went out by way of the sports book and believe me it not being there isnt a major loss. As far as the celeb chef deal with Pellegrino leaving isnt a loss either because her place looked just like the place across the hall.

Hard Rock will probably be fine given the world-wide reach of the brand name, though I suppose they could always do a info-share with someone if they wanted to. Honestly that name is the worst part of the deal. Hopefully they keep the big Tropicana sign up and just but the "Doubble Tree" bit as a little plaque on the bottom.

It would also help if the Tropicana Vega and the Tropicana AC had anything to do with each other. That's gotta get really confusing for other East Coast folks.

I get the idea of rebranding the hotel (NOT the resort) a Hilton DoubleTree. Consumers know to expect a minimum standard at a DoubleTree, a standard that is more upmarket/modern than I think the Trop's reputation is. Add in financial accretion and it sounds sensible.

"Does this agreement - or any of these marketing franchise agreements Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Best Western, Accor etc. - make you more or less inclined to stay at a given property?" For me, the answer is "definitely maybe." I spend between 75-100 nights a year in hotel, usually one with the name "Marriott" or "Hilton" on the letterhead, which means I am in the upper tier of their respective frequent guest programs. Although it has been watered down somewhat, one of the big benefits of staying at Cosmo was knowing I would almost certainly get a room upgrade (including to a wrap-around suite) and free buffet passes, all thanks to my Marriott status. And to top it off, I'm earining qualifying stays in a town where (at least from a Marriott perspective) my only casino resort option used to mean having to hoof it out to the JW Marriott in Summerlin.

However, Vegas is a unique animal, and when I am spending my own money, I still find that Wynn and MGM properties provide the best overall Vegas experience. However, if Cosmo could fix their Identity program and make it truly competitive with MLife, while presevering all the benefits of Marriott affiliation, I would be hard pressed to stay anywhere else.

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