Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 | 1:50 a.m.
Map of Tropicana Las Vegas
3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
Since the Tropicana emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009, the property’s new management team has spent a significant amount of time and money on upgrading the historic resort.
The Tropicana is spending about $165 million to renovate the casino floor, restaurants, convention center, pool and hotel rooms, with plans for future attractions like a nightclub-pool complex and The Mob Experience. The investment might be paying off for the once-rundown property.
The company last week reported a drop in revenue and room rates for the second quarter. But while weekday demand remains soft, the renovations and a marketing effort in Las Vegas and Southern California have brought an increase in weekend visitors, driving up room rates.
Most of the weekend rates fall between $129 and $159 per night. Tropicana’s highest weekend rate, at $229, is reserved for New Year’s Eve and the last weekend in September, a weekend when a handful of large conventions are in town. That compares to an average daily room rate of $125 for the same September weekend in 2009.
Before the room renovations, rates at the Tropicana were as low as $38 during some weekends in 2009, which is on par with other older properties such as Sahara and Riviera.
Tropicana Vice President of Hotel Operations Arik Knowles said the hotel considered raising room rates as part of the renovation, but decided against it. Instead, he attributed the recent increase in room rates to the spike in demand, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We are very optimistic because we are a very different hotel than we were a year ago,” Knowles said. “It’s a better product and people are responding in kind. On the weekends especially, we are seeing a lift in demand, which is leading to a higher rate.”
Until this round of renovations, Tropicana’s rooms, like the rest of the property, had remained untouched since 1985. Tropicana announced earlier this month that room renovations are complete, and every room offered to guests has been remodeled.
The resort’s rooms, once plagued with rumors of uncleanliness, were updated to match the resort's new South Beach theme with a new color scheme, furnishings and carpeting. Rooms also feature new mattresses and 42-inch plasma TVs.
Aside from a hike in room rates, the new rooms have resulted in more positive feedback in online reviews, Knowles said, which he said played a role in increasing online bookings.
“A lot of people we talk to when they come to the hotel say they heard about the change and that the construction is done and wanted to check out the new rooms,” Knowles said.
The Tropicana also gave credit to its new logo and “We’re Changing Everything” marketing campaign, primarily focused on reaching Southern Californians and locals in Las Vegas.
Knowles said the increased weekend bookings have brought in a younger crowd, typically 25- to 45-year-olds. The resort will be adding the Nikki Beach adult pool and nightclub next spring in hopes of bringing in more younger visitors.
By the end of the year, Tropicana expects to be finished with its casino floor renovations and expanded sports book, complete with mobile gaming.
Tropicana Las Vegas sits on the south-east corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, an intersection which has the most adjacent hotel rooms in the world, also making it one of the most busy. The hotel has 1,658 rooms, three restaurants, a 62,011-square foot casino and a spa.The Tropicana's five-acre pool complex stretches throughout the center of the the hotel/casino and remains it's most recognizable feature. It features swim-up blackjack during the summer months, a swim-up bar, dining areas and a wedding chapel. The Tropicana is also home to Brad Garrett's Comedy Club. For pre-show dining, take advantage of one the casino’s dinner and a show packages or just head over to Cafe Nikki, Biscayne Steak, Sea & Wine or Bacio Pasta & Vino.