Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.
Yemenidjian talks of Trop upgrades
The dance floor is being cleared at Tropicana’s Club Nikki, and the sun is setting on Nikki Beach.
Effective Friday night, the Tropicana has cut loose its Miami Beach-based nightclub, pool club and restaurant operator. Tropicana Vice President of Food, Beverage and Retail Tom Recine confirmed today that employees working in Las Vegas for Club Nikki, Nikki Beach and Cafe Nikki have been notified that they are no longer working at the Trop.
Most employees were informed of the decision Friday night.
“My understanding is the team in Vegas will be reassigned across the country,” Recine said today. “They are good people, and we like them and like the brand, and we wish them the best.”
Club Nikki will continue operations for the short-term, including tonight, when Nicki Minaj hosts a post-iHeartRadio party at the nightspot.
The business partnership between the Trop and the Nikki empire culminated in the opening of Cafe Nikki, Club Nikki and Nikki Beach as part of the Trop’s $165 million renovation. But four months after hosting a splashy, poolside White Party to mark the official opening of Nikki Beach, Trop is seizing all operations. The move comes a month after A5 Group of Las Vegas ended its promotions and marketing agreement with the Trop to operate the venues.
Recine did not say specifically why the decision was made or speak to its timing, though it was evident Nikki Beach and Club Nikki had trouble sustaining momentum after the White Party launched the beach club in grand fashion Memorial Day weekend. Recine did say he was going to be busy building a new team to work for nightclub, cafe and beach club venues that are unaffiliated with the Nikki Beach brand.
“I will recruit talented nightclub professionals throughout the industry,” said Recine, who will oversee all of those entities in his administrative position with the hotel. “This is all about exceeding expectations, running airtight operations, streamlining and being competitive in the Las Vegas market.”
The Nikki brand will be retained for the near-term and the venues will remain in operation as the hotel enters its next phase of nightlife and beach club entertainment. All of the venues will be re-branded in whatever image and theme the Tropicana chooses, although Nikki Beach’s South Beach-styled approach seemed a fair fit with the hotel’s similar theme. Recine said he did not know when that would happen, and the hotel has a “cushion” to continue to use the Nikki Beach brand and signage in the hotel.
“Our planning details are not yet complete,” he said.
But what is certain is that, after just one summer and a brief set of celebrity-hosted parties, the Club Nikki and Nikki Beach era in Las Vegas is going dark.