End of Vegas history: Tropicana Las Vegas closes two days before 67th anniversary

Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas

An iconic piece of the Las Vegas Strip closed early Tuesday morning, before its demolition to make room for a stadium.

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The Tropicana Las Vegas would have celebrated its 67th anniversary on Thursday. It opened in April 1957 and, with a $15 million price tag to build its 300 rooms and casino, was called “the Tiffany of the Strip.”

The Tropicana is owned by Bally’s Corporation, The New York Times reported.

It was home to not only gamblers but also iconic shows such as the Folies Bergere, which introduced the U.S. to Siegfried & Roy. Louis Armstrong appeared in the Blue Room.

About 175 former Folies Bergere entertainers came together over the weekend to say goodbye to the Tropicana, KVVU reported.

The casino closed at 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Tropicana’s website, with the food and beverage departments closing by noon after the hotel’s final guests leave.

But despite being an icon of the Strip, the Tropicana Las Vegas was overshadowed by the megaresorts that Vegas has become known for, USA Today reported.

Preparation for demolition will begin “shortly after” Tuesday’s closure, according to the Tropicana’s website. The building is planned to be brought down in October.

Once the Tropicana is no more, nine acres will be cleared to make room for the new 33,000-seat baseball stadium for the now Oakland Athletics. The A’s are expected to play in their new home in Vegas starting in 2028, the Times reported. The team will play in Oakland for the current season, but where they will play from 2025 to 2028 has yet to be determined.

There has been talk of the property becoming a complex that not only houses the stadium, but also a resort and casino. Plans are still being finalized, and the state will put up about $380 million toward the $1.5 billion cost for the complex.

Sin City has been courting pro sports teams, with the former Oakland Raiders moving to Vegas in 2020, the Golden Knights joining the NHL in 2017 and the WNBA’s Aces, which started playing in 2018. The city has also hosted fights, races and NCAA championships.

But the Tropicana will not be left only to the memories of those who visited the Strip. The company that owns the casino is working with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; the Neon Museum and the Showgirl Museum to “preserve the heritage and items of sentimental value within the Tropicana.”

The hotel’s owner is liquidating thousands of items, such as guest room furniture, gaming stools and linens. The liquidation website is already live.

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 will be helping former Tropicana employees find jobs, apply for unemployment and get training, the Times reported. The workers will get a $2,000 severance pay for every year they worked for the company and six months of health insurance coverage.

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