March 3rd, 2024

Tropicana Las Vegas, a Sin City landmark since 1957, will be demolished to make way for MLB stadium

By Associated Press, The Associated Press on January 30, 2024.

FILE - A person, reflected in glass, walks near the Tropicana Las Vegas, May 16, 2023, in Las Vegas. The Tropicana Las Vegas, a Sin City namesake for more than six decades, is slated to shut its doors in April 2024 to make room for a $1.5 billion Major League Baseball stadium, Bally's Corp. announced Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Tropicana Las Vegas, a Sin City landmark for more than six decades, is shutting its doors in the spring to make room for a $1.5 billion Major League Baseball stadium that will be home to the relocating Oakland Athletics.

Bally’s Corp. made the announcement Monday, saying the closure on April 2 – days before the 67th anniversary of the Tropicana’s opening – marks the beginning of preparations for demolition of the resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Tropicana was dubbed the “Tiffany of the Strip,” described as the most expensive hotel-casino built in Las Vegas when it opened with three stories and 300 rooms in 1957 at a cost of $15 million.

Now, that parcel is the planned site of a 30,000-seat ballpark with a retractable roof. All 30 MLB owners in November gave their approval for the A’s to move to Las Vegas.

In a statement, Bally’s President George Papanier described the ballpark plans as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“Bally’s looks forward to the development of a new resort and ballpark that will be built in its place and will become a new landmark, paying homage to the iconic history and global appeal of Las Vegas and its nearly 50 million visitors a year,” the company said in a news release.

The ballpark, backed by $380 million in public funding, is expected to open in 2028, near the homes of the NFL’s Vegas Raiders, who fled Oakland in 2020, and the NHL’s Golden Knights, who won the Stanley Cup last year in just their sixth season.

Bally’s says it will no longer accept hotel bookings after April 2 and will relocate any customers who reserve past the closing date.

The company’s announcement came just a month after the Tropicana and the Culinary Workers Union, which represents about 500 workers there, reached an agreement for a new five-year contract.

Ted Pappageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer, said he hopes the severance package secured in the latest contract will ease what he expects to be a difficult transition for the Tropicana’s largely senior workforce, many of whom, he said, have worked at the hotel-casino for decades.

Under the new union contract, the employees will receive severance pay of $2,000 for each year of work. For veteran workers at the Tropicana, Pappageorge said, that totals tens of thousands of dollars.

“In Las Vegas, hotels are bought and sold on a regular basis,” Pappageorge said. “These new projects are welcome, but workers can’t be discarded like an old shoe.”

Rhode Island-based Bally’s purchased the Tropicana in 2021 for $308 million.

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