The Tropicana Las Vegas has been a staple of the Las Vegas Strip since opening in 1957, entertaining generations of visitors with its tropical theme and classic Vegas ambiance. However, the iconic hotel's 65-year run is set to come to an end on April 2nd, 2024 according to an announcement made to employees this week (as reported by Las Vegas Locally on X). Operator Bally's Corporation plans to demolish the Tropicana to make way for a $1.5 billion baseball stadium.
The stadium will host the Oakland Athletics, who recently got approval to relocate to Las Vegas by the MLB. The Athletics struck a deal with Bally's last May to construct a new ballpark on roughly nine acres of the Tropicana site. Demolishing the aging but beloved Tropicana was always part of this agreement.
VP and General Manager Arik Knowles broke the news to Tropicana staff and began canceling hotel reservations past April 2024. With about 700 employees, the closure raises questions around jobs and preserving a historic Vegas landmark.
The Tropicana Las Vegas First Opened When Las Vegas Was Still Small
The Tropicana opened when the Las Vegas Strip was still developing into an entertainment destination. According to the original article by Las Vegas Locally, the Tropicana Las Vegas welcomed its first guests in 1957. At that time, Las Vegas still had a "small town" community feel despite iconic properties like the Flamingo and Desert Inn already standing.
Over 65 years, the Tropicana Las Vegas hosted legendary headliners from Elvis Presley to Ray Charles while also serving as a filming location for movies like "The Godfather." As one of the few remaining hotels from Las Vegas' early days, the Tropicana represents a piece of classic Vegas culture and history.
While many accept change is inevitable in Vegas, news of the Tropicana's impending demolition still came as a shock. The tropical themed resort expected to operate until at least late 2024 based on Bally's previous agreements. The sudden announcement gives guests and employees little time for a final farewell.
The A's Hope the New Stadium Will Boost the Team's Revenue
Driving the Tropicana's premature closure is the Oakland A's desire to expedite their relocation to Las Vegas and begin play in their new stadium by 2028. The team is hedging their future on the belief that a new Las Vegas ballpark will help the club grow financially.
The original article states the A's will receive nine acres of the Tropicana site from Bally's Corporation to build the $1.5 billion stadium. Demolishing the old Tropicana hotel and casino is a necessary first step.
While Las Vegas stands to gain from hosting an MLB team, the city will lose one of its most iconic hotels. The Tropicana Las Vegas' impending closure shows the constant tug of war in Vegas between preserving historic properties and redeveloping highly valuable land.