The Tropicana Resort and Casino has a new owner. Pinnacle Entertainment has agreed to buy Aztar Corporation, which owns the property now. The Tropicana is slated for a major renovation that was supposed to start this year. The question for a lot of people is whether this buyout will change those plans.
Neither Pinnacle or Aztar has commented on whether renovation will be put on hold. They do tell Eyewitness News this merger is historic. But not everyone is happy about it.
Pinnacle Entertainment has sealed a USD 1 billion deal with Aztar Corporation, which makes them the new part owners of the Tropicana resort and casino. The Tropicana sits at one of the busiest intersection in Las Vegas.
The Tropicana has stood on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana since 1957. It is one of the few historic casinos left.
Pinnacle Entertainment would not comment on the merger and what it plans to do with the property, but the company says it will be at least two years before it comes up with a design plan for the property. In the meantime the casino will stay as is. Eyewitness News is told no serious cosmetic upgrades will be made immediately.
Some gaming experts speculate the Tropicana could be imploded, but Pinnacle officials are not confirming that. They do agree the Tropicana is over due for a big makeover.
Ray Poirier with Gaming Today says that the Tropicana is popular among tourists because it’s one of the few remaining affordable hotels left. He says if the Tropicana is imploded or given a makeover the room prices won’t come at a bargain.
Poirier said, „A major expense on the Pinnacle folk. They’re going to look to get a return on their investment. This merger didn’t come cheap.“ He speculates Pinnacle will pour a lot of money into its prime location. „It hasn’t been upgraded and you look at all the other properties around it. The MGM. New York, New York — all these properties have just made it look even worse.“
Both Pinnacle and Aztar are remaining tight-lipped about the future of the Tropicana. Although they do say it will take two years to come up with a design or plan.
Ray Poirier continued, „That’s the future, isn’t it? You either have to upgrade or you move by the wayside. And that’s what’s happening here in the community and I think that’s what’s going to happen to the Tropicana.“
The merger did not come cheap; the total cost for the transaction is USD 2.1 billion.
Pinnacle Entertainment also operates casinos in Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri and Argentina.