When you only have 4.2 miles of precious land to operate some of the most successful businesses in the world, something old often has to be destroyed to make way for something new. That has long been the story on the Las Vegas Strip where many of the most iconic casinos were imploded in order to make way for something new.
Las Vegas has been the home to dozens of casinos, some more fondly remembered than others. Some properties meet their end quietly simply changing owners and retiring a well-known name perhaps for it to be brought back in the future. Others, both on the Strip and around Las Vegas have met a more spectacular demise through implosion.
The Dunes, The Landmark, The Sands, Hacienda, and Aladdin were all brought down in the 1990s with Hacienda becoming the site for MGM Resorts International’s (MGM) – Get Free Report Mandalay Bay while the Aladdin site now hosts Caesars Entertainment’s (CZR) – Get Free Report Planet Hollywood. In the 2000s, El Rancho, Dessert Inn, Castaways, Bourbon Street, Boardwalk, Stardust, and New Frontier all met their demise through implosion.
There are some big names on the last, but perhaps none as big as The Tropicana, an icon of the Strip simply because it has been around since the 1950s. You could call the property a blast from the past, a reminder of Las Vegas’ history or a dated relic badly in need of an update, but that update is not going to happen.
A surprise deal between Bally’s Corp.BALY which has the operating rights to the 35-acre site, and the Oakland Athletics will bring about the end of the famed casino. It will be demolished to make way for a $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark for the baseball team, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The Tropicana is one of Las Vegas’ longest-standing resort casinos.
Image source: Shutterstock
Las Vegas Strip Loses Tropicana, Gains the A’s
The A’s originally had a deal with Red Rock Resorts (RRR) – Get Free Report for an off-Strip stadium at Tropicana Avenue and Dean Martin Drive which used to house Station Casinos Wild Wild West. That deal was dependent upon the team landing $500 million in public finds to improve access to the site.
With the new site being on the Strip surrounded by Caesars and MGM properties, the team is now seeking only $395 million in public funds, according to the paper. The Nevada state legislature would still have to sign off on any funds, and there’s no guarantee that will happen.
If the public money is approved, the team is expected to build a stadium with a retractable dome. A 30,000-seat stadium is relatively small by Major League Baseball standards, but the limited seating would likely make the A’s a hot ticket and could drive prices up when opponents like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are in town.
A Sad End for the Las Vegas Strip’s Tropicana
The Trop, as it’s known, has had a doubtful future since late last year when Baly’s acquired operating rights to the property from Penn National Gaming (PENN) – Get Free Report. When that deal closed, little changed at the historic resort casino aside from signs related to Bally’s loyalty program replacing Penn National’s.
When the deal closed, Bally’s President George Papanier told the Nevada Gaming Commission that the company intended to use Tropicana as its western flagship property, Casino.org reported.
He did make it clear that the company planned to step back for 18-24 months to consider its options. At the time, it was clear that those options included a remodel, a demolition and rebuild, or a baseball stadium for the A’s.
Now, while neither the A’s nor Bally’s has commented on the deal, it looks like the stadium will replace the Tropicana on 9 of the 35 acres at the site. Bally’s, however, would retain the rights to build a new resort casino on the remaining space, according to the Review-Journal.