For a half-century now, the Tropicana Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip at Tropicana Avenue put the “bling” in “gambling” was the epitome of fashionable travel. With its balconied rooms, its world-class showroom, its “Folies Bergere” showgirls from Paris, its 60-foot tulip fountain, and gaming of all kinds, it was nicknamed “Tiffany of the Strip.”
It was slated for the wrecking ball, but was recently bought by Columbia Entertainment of Kentucky for $2.1 billion dollars. “It’s a relic of the past we admire and resp ect,” said Rich FitzPatrick, senior VP and CFO of Columbia. The company is planning a $2.5 billion upgrade to tear up most of the existing resort, expand its room count from 1,880 up to 10,000 by 2010, and bring it up to the standards of neighboring megacasino resorts like New York-New York, the MGM Grand and Excalibur.