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Tropicana To Get New Restaurants, Possibly Hotel Tower

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 21st August 2015 2:42pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 11


Tropicana Marquee Rewards

Nevada Gaming Commission has approved Penn National Gaming's $360 million dollar purchase of The New Tropicana Las Vegas - A DoubleTree by Hilton from Onex Corportaion and Alex Yemenidjian.

Before we get on with the PNG news, we definitely should salute Mr. Alex Yemenidjian for doing what many people thought was nearly impossible - he transformed the Tropicana from poop drooling, maggot infested, dirty bunghole of a casino, into a vibrant, fun, clean resort offering great rooms and decent gambling at a competitive value. Bon voyage!

With new ownership comes new ideas and changes. One thing that will remain the same at The New Tropicana Las Vegas - A DoubleTree by Hilton is the name. Penn National has stated that they will not rebrand the Trop OR M Resort anytime soon.

Tropicana Marquee Rewards

Penn National plans to spend $20m on property renovations, including new slot equipment, refreshing the casino floor and a new visual attraction at the corner of Tropicana and The Strip that will draw attention to the property.

The content of the resort will be completely rethought by the brain trust at M Resort. The primarily goal in the upgrades is to transform Tropicana from an MGM off-site dormitory to a vibrant and satisfying destination unto itself. The entire restaurant collection will be completely replaced with ideas and brands building off of M Resorts' food & beverage program. Will we see an Anthony's or Studio B Buffet on The Strip?

The Tropicana will be integrated into Penn National's Marquee Rewards comp club as early as Spring 2016, enabling all Penn National customers to finally redeem their comps on The Las Vegas Strip.

Penn National also announced the possibility that they will consider building new retail and F&B spaces as well as additional hotel rooms (a new hotel tower?) in a second phase of upgrades. The goal of all of these upgrades is to turn Tropicana into a solid, self-contained destination for Marquee Rewards customers as well offer competitive offerings in the low-mid casino a la Ballys, Flamingo, Luxor, Linq, Paris, Planet Hollywood, MGM Grand tier.

We've certainly heard this story before, but Penn National has something Onexidjian didn't a massive database of players who would love burn their comps in Las Vegas.

Tagged: tropicana   penn national   


Comments & Discussion:

Amazing news.

Chuck I can't feel the love for the Trop. Was there in July and they still have those low ceilings and heavy smoke everywhere around the casino. Still feels old compared to most of the resorts. Really wanted to like it.

The Rock Vault is also a nice addition. I've loved the Trop from when it was too nice for us to try out our fake IDs in the 1990s. To the shithole it became in the 2000s. And now as the Tweener casino were not sure what it's going for.

One killer bar like the Nine Fine Irishmen and to me, the Trop would be the best spot on that corner.

This is good news because the dining choices there have sucked for a while. I wandered into Trop in 2004 and couldn't get out fast enough. The remodel made me curious and I booked a stay there and I have found it to be quite nice. The rooms are big and comfortable, the staff is very friendly and i feel comfortable there even though i was aproached by a hooker there when I stayed there last. They really needed to do something with the ecterior so again, good news. Maybe the new blood will determine what their core audience is because I could never figure out if I was their demographic or the dayclub crowd.

Can I offer a suggestion for the "attraction" at the corner of the property? California's Great America, the Cedar Fair managed theme park in middle of Silicon Valley, has something they call the Star Tower. It's a round "cabin" with seats that rotates around a center column...rising a couple hundred feet in the air. Placed just right, it could provide some pretty good views down the strip. Yea, I know Ceasars hasn't been raking it in on High Roller tickets, and I'm not exactly sure where they'd fit in queuing space on that fairly small corner, but I still think it might be fun.
Here's a picture of the one at Great America:

And a second idea...outdoor dining. But not at strip level but rather near the top of that "front" tower. Sacrifice a floor, or maybe just half a floor, of rooms at maybe the 20th floor and build a restaurant. Stick some small balconies around the whole floor (the current room windows should be easy to turn into doors)...just big enough for maybe 8 seats each...configure some with 4 two-tops, some with a big table for 8, some with 2 four-tops. Structurally it shouldn't be too difficult and, as long as the food is somewhere above OK I think you'd have a hit.

I think the ideal visual landmark would be some sort of updated version of the classic tulip fountain that used to grace the corner. In some of the mooted plans from the last two owners, versions of it appeared on some of the renderings some of those plans included a lagoon out front as well as outside dining). I would venture to guess that the previously announced retail development out front has been shelved.

The dining options are in serious need of an upgrade, as when I stayed there in March of 2011, I opted against making use of the dining part of the prize package I won because the dining options just were a bit meh. What I think they need is something along the lines of Trader Vic's (even though Trader Vic's location at Miracle Mile Shops was a flop, mainly because they tried to aim it towards the club/bottle service crowd and not the Tiki enthusiasts.). Back in the old days, there were some notable Polynesian places on the Strip (Don The Beachcomber at the Sahara, Aku Aku at the Stardust), and maybe something like this would be a fit for the Tropicana.

Wasn't the last remodel, with the brief Nikki Beach/Baggatele experiment, supposed to make the Trop relevant and hip again? How many times is this place going to get reinvented?

Here's hoping they go through with another tower, a spa would be a welcome addition to the property as well as a couple restaurants.

If Penn National is smart enough to use its players club as a funnel -- i.e. Trop offers based on play at other PN properties -- then they will do fine.

Restaurant upgrades will help, if reasonably priced, but the property already fits the "mid-range" market thanks to the latest reno. Filling rooms is as much a database job now as anything else.

"The entire restaurant collection will be completely replaced with ideas and brands building off of M Resorts' food & beverage program."

I've stayed at the M twice, and food/beverage is something they do fantastically (or at least they did before they started cost-cutting). This is absolutely a good thing.

The integration of the Trop with Penn National will mean the Trop can provide stronger competition to the MGM properties surrounding it. This is also a good thing.

I'm wondering about the market positioning. I'd presume the Trop itself will remain a Mass Market property, with the M being more of a 4-star upscale property that functions as a "retreat" from the Strip. Maybe the planned new hotel tower will be an hotel-within-an-hotel attempt at either a super-luxury 5-star flagship, or perhaps a more "energetic" outpost for the M's target market (which would fit less awkwardly with the Trop)?

So, hopefully the stained glass ceiling stays where it is. I remember the rumors that the mall the previous owners intended to build out to the street would have removed it.

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