Tropicana in Las Vegas gets final sendoff from workers, players

Review Journal
Tropicana in Las Vegas gets final sendoff from workers, players
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They all marked the final hours of the Tropicana, one of the oldest of the remaining old-school Vegas casinos that once was the playground of the likes of Sammy Davis Jr., but closed its doors Tuesday two days short of the 67th anniversary of its opening.

Some of the slot machines along the resort entrance were the first to go, decommissioned days before the formal closing date.

Although casino operator Bally’s Corp. announced the casino play would end at 3 a.m., casino workers got an early start on the table games, shutting down blackjack, roulette and craps at around midnight.

With the tables dark, that left hundreds of gamblers hoping to score one last time at the remaining slot machines, many of which were still operating while other devices nearby displayed “out of order” messages on their screens.

Occasional players would whoop when they hit something big and other gamblers would crane their necks to witness the excitement.

Most of the patrons exploring the casino were shooting cell-phone pictures and videos, capturing the scene of the last gasp of the Trop casino under the famed stained-glass canopy that preservationists hope to save.

Earlier in the evening, the Chill’m bar was the place to be, serving a record crowd that wanted to give it an appropriate send-off. Just about every other food outlet in the casino – and many of the restrooms – were closed.

At around 1:30 a.m., the swing shift of casino dealers gathered in the pit for a champagne toast.

Dealers, many of them dressed in Vegas Golden Knights gear, hugged each other and cried and took home souvenirs, some of the plastic signs that were on tables.

Bloggers, YouTubers and influencers paraded around the casino capturing video to share the last moments of casino play and the environment of history fading away.

At around 2:30, a player screamed out from the center of the casino: “Yeah Vegas! Tropicana is No. 1!” A few others nearby added their own salutes.

Meanwhile, a few steps away, two men were debating whether a Major League Baseball stadium would ever be built on the site.

That’s the plan.

Once the resort closes its doors at around 1 p.m., with an official locking-of-the-doors ceremony with Bally’s executives, construction workers will build a 10-foot wall around the property and begin tearing the building down.

A full demolition is planned later this year with construction of a $1.5 billion, 33,000-seat stadium for the relocating Oakland Athletics.

Financing details for the stadium have yet to be formally announced, except for a $380 million public contribution approved by the Nevada Legislature. Stadium renderings have been released and Las Vegas Stadium Authority Chairman Steve Hill is confident the Athletics will deliver on the financing and play Major League Baseball on the Strip beginning in 2028.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.