A Sin City Landmark Will Be Razed

Tropicana hotel and casino is making way for a baseball stadium
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2024 6:39 AM CST
A Sin City Landmark Will Be Razed
A person, reflected in glass, walks near the Tropicana Las Vegas, May 16, 2023, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

When the Tropicana Las Vegas opened in 1957, Nevada's lieutenant governor unlocked the door to what would become a Sin City landmark for more than a half-century. Then he threw away the key. "This was to signify that the Tropicana would always stay open," said historian Michael Green. Six decades later, the storied hotel-casino that once had ties to the mob and was nicknamed the "Tiffany of the Strip," is set to shut its doors for good to make room for a $1.5 billion Major League Baseball stadium that will be home to the relocating Oakland Athletics, the AP reports.

Tropicana owner Bally's Corp. made the announcement Monday, saying the closure on April 2—days before the 67th anniversary of the resort's opening—marks the beginning of preparations for demolition. The ballpark is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Bally's president, George Papanier, said in a statement. "Bally's looks forward to the development of a new resort and ballpark that ... will become a new landmark, paying homage to the iconic history and global appeal of Las Vegas and its nearly 50 million visitors a year," the company said in a news release.

The population of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, had just surpassed 100,000 when the Tropicana opened on a Las Vegas Strip not yet lined with the megaresorts it's known for today, Green said. The Flamingo had been open for a decade. The high-rise Stardust debuted the following year, costing $8.5 million. Known then for its opulence, Green said, the Tropicana had mosaic tiles and mahogany panels throughout. There was a towering tulip-shaped fountain near the entrance. Each hotel room had a balcony. Today, the site at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip intersects with a major thoroughfare named for the Tropicana. It is surrounded by towering megaresorts. More on the Tropicana's storied history here.

(More Tropicana stories.)

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