Tropicana Looks to Be First Las Vegas Casino Sale of 2020

Our sources are awesome, and three tell us Tropicana Las Vegas is being sold.

We expect Tropicana to be the first big Las Vegas casino sale of 2020. (Update: Curses! Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand beat them to the punch. We are a blog, not a psychic.)

Tropicana hotel

The Trop cost $15 million to build. That hefty price tag (at the time) earned it the nickname “Tiffany of The Strip.” Seems appropriate a Las Vegas casino would have a stripper name.

The Tropicana is owned by Penn National Gaming, the same company that owns M Resort.

The COO of Penn, Jay Snowden, shared back in October 2019 the company had received unsolicited bids for the Strip resort. At the time, executives claimed a sale wasn’t “imminent.”

Now, we hear one of those offers has been accepted and the sale is under way.

Translation: The sale of the Trop is “imminent” AF.

The sale of Tropicana would fit into the recent trend in Vegas casino companies monetizing assets, as MGM Resorts has with Circus Circus and Bellagio, and Caesars Entertainment has with Rio.

The sale of Tropicana, predicted to be in the $700 million range, would take a nice bite out of Penn’s long-term debt of about $11 billion.

Tropicana Las Vegas

Trop has gotten some upgrades, but still has a touch of old-school Vegas.

Penn National Gaming paid $360 million for Tropicana in August 2015. The Trop was previously owned by Onex Corp. and Alex Yemenidijan.

When Penn purchased Tropicana, it nixed a planned $100 million expansion called “The Shops at The New Tropicana Las Vegas.” Some projects are better off nixed. Because shopping, meh.

What might have been. And what might have failed, miserably. Good call, Penn.

We quite like Tropicana, and recently enjoyed a visit to the Oakville Steakhouse and the new Trago Lounge.

It’s unknown what plans are in store for Tropicana following the rumored sale. All we know is if they screw with the stained glass ceiling in the casino, we riot.

Well, we riot on Twitter. You know, not real rioting. We have a tear gas sensitivity.

Update (3/27/20): The Tropicana has been sold. Can’t even crow about it since it’s in the midst of the coronavirus shutdown. Read more. Penn National has sold Tropicana to its own real estate investment trust. Not as sexy as it sounds.

20 thoughts on “Tropicana Looks to Be First Las Vegas Casino Sale of 2020

  1. Wayne B.

    Penn did nothing to get my attention as the Trip’s owner. Place seemed devoid of atmosphere when I visited in 2018.

      1. Bruno el Diablo

        I am so tired of people typing messages on their phone and having auto correct screw things up, one way or another.

        Twitter is the work of the devil!

  2. Ramon

    Seemed very blah and boring when we were going to stay there again this summer but opted out for the Palace Station and they only charged us 22.50 per plus tax

    1. D C

      Palace Station??? If you thought The Trop was bland and boring, wait until you get a taste of the rooms at the Palace Station. They have recently upgraded the property, I’ll admit I haven’t been to a room since then but before that I did and it was horrendous. Worse than Motel 6, far worse.


        I stayed at Palace Station once, years ago. The room was in an older section of the property, maybe even the original motel that predated the high-rise structure. “Horrendous” was the right
        word. Glad my wife wasn’t along that trip.

  3. D C

    It’s very interesting that they nixed the shopping expansion. In my opinion that was idiotic. The Trop may as well be on an Island because people usually walk the strip to Tropicana Bl, then turn around because there’s nothing special at the Trop or Excalibur to make them cross the street, and they are really not walking to the Luxor and will take a taxi/uber, monorail or bus to Mandalay Bay. Shopping would have attracted lots of people to the Trop. I guess they forget that when people win money, they like to shop.
    Whenever people come into town the first place I take them is to Planet Hollywood, mostly because of the Miracle Mile of Shops and the numerous food options. Those who want to gamble can do that, those that want to shop can do that and they can meet for lunch later all in the same place AND THE PARKING IS FREE!!!!

    1. HundleyFan

      You’re kidding, right? Bally’s added the Grand Bazaar Shops right in front of the hotel, and look how well that’s *not* going. Wynn added the Wynn Plaza Shops, and look how well that’s *not* going. Wynn even rescinded the fee for self-parking, then rescinded the fee for valet parking, and still the Wynn Plaza Shops is *not* packing them in. The only mall I’ve been in with less foot traffic than Wynn Plaza Shops is The Shops at Crystals in CityCenter.

      I’m guessing you haven’t been to the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas at Primm recently. According to the latest LVCVA data, an average of 44,745 cars PER DAY passed through the NV/CA border on I-15 in the first 11 months of 2019. Despite that, half of the outlet mall’s retail space is boarded up. So many stores have closed that mall management can’t even keep the mall directories up to date.
      News Flash: Many a great many people now shop online.

      Your statement that “people usually walk the strip to Tropicana Bl, then turn around because there’s nothing special at the Trop or Excalibur to make them cross the street” is pure conjecture. I see people walking way past Tropicana Blvd., as far south as the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

  4. G S

    For me, it’s a big loss. My local is a Penn National and I have enjoyed using comps there. (The M is wonderful, but it’s too far out and I don’t rate that high.) Hopefully the 3 best things about the Trop will carry on: relaxing pool scene, cleanliness, and the friendly, responsive staff.

  5. Dean Lenaburg

    Any chance this will be a sale and a lease back like Bellagio? Or is this going to a new owner and operator?

  6. Joe

    The better not F with Oakville Steakhouse. One of the best steakhouses on the strip. And whatever that Chinese joint is on the floor.

    1. a

      I wonder if the bean counters ever run numbers to see if scrapping these old hotels is financially smart. According to Wikipedia, the Tropical opened in 1962. That makes it an old building that probably costs mega-bucks to heat and cool.

      At some point, the money used to renovate (and even operate) these old buildings is basically money purchasing lipstick for the pig. A newly built structure that capitalizes on modern building techniques like solar panels might be worth it.

      I’m talking about the common areas. I’d bet that the hotel towers might be reasonably okay.

  7. Jeff in OKC

    I sure hope the Boyd Gaming rumor is true. I think it would be nice for Boyd to have a presence on the Strip again.

    I’m afraid the reality is it is nothing more than Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI), a real estate company for casinos, buying the property and leasing it back to PENN.

    1. An insider who knows something...

      An EXTREMELY reliable source tells me it is Hard Rock International (Seminole Gaming) that made the most significant offer & will be the new operator. Unsure if it will be a partnership (as with the old property on Paradise) or not?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *