Another iconic Las Vegas Strip casino likely to be demolished

Las Vegas has always had a mixed relationship with its history. The city loves to conjure up its classic past, but casino operators generally recognize that while people want imagery with nostalgic nods to the past like the classic sign of Las Vegas, they generally don’t want to stay in hotels- outdated “classic” casinos.

The city, of course, has its share of aging properties that reflect the Vegas of yesteryear, but, for the most part, most of Las Vegas follows a mantra of newer is better. Sure, newer properties like Circa, which is in downtown Fremont Street, have plenty of touches that remind people of classic Vegas, but the hotel’s casino has all the modern touches.

Top properties owned by MGM Resorts International MGM and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get the report from Caesars Entertainment Inc. be constantly updated and even low-end properties under these banners are refreshed quite often. This is happening at Caesar Bally’s which will be rebranded and remodeled taking on the company’s Horsehoe brand.

The move, which followed recent news that MGM had sold The Mirage to Hard Rock International so it could be demolished and turned into a guitar hotel. Now it’s clearer why Caesars will drop the Bally name.

The current Bally’s Corp. (BALY) – Get Bally’s Corporate Report intends to put that name on another property on the Las Vegas Strip and it’s probably not just about changing a signage. Instead, the casino operator, which has had no presence in Las Vegas, plans to do major renovations or completely tear down another classic casino with roots in Vegas’ seedier past.

Ballys has big plans for the Tropicana

Bally’s purchased the Tropicana’s non-land assets from Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI) – Get the report from Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. in April 2021. The hotel, which sits on the Las Vegas Strip, sold for $150 million and Bally agreed to lease the land underlying the casino to GLPI for $10.5 million through year, subject to increases over time.

When that deal was struck, Ballys was vague about its plans for the classic, but aging casino.

“Gaining a prominent place on the Las Vegas Strip is a key milestone for us. The Strip is visited by over 40 million players and guests annually, which we believe will significantly improve the customer base and customer base. Bally’s player data, as well as unlock marketing opportunities to leverage Bally’s iconic brand,” Bally CEO George Papanier said in a press release.

Now new details have come out about what Bally expects to do with Tropicana.

“Casino operator Bally’s Corp., which is buying the Strip resort, would ‘almost certainly’ seek to rebrand the Bally’s property and likely seek to redevelop the hotel-casino,” Chairman Soohyung Kim told the Las Vegas Review- Newspaper January 26. “He said management hasn’t determined what to do with the property, but would consider anything from renovating the 1,470-room resort to ‘tearing it down and starting over’. “

Kim called destroying property and building something entirely new as a possible way to “maximize value.”

Goodbye Mirage and maybe see you later Tropicana

Mirage became expendable for MGM when the company acquired the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Hard Rock decided to demolish the property, which was built in 1989. It’s relatively new by Las Vegas Strip standards, but Hard Rock wants to turn the Strip property into a variation of its Florida Guitar Hotel, which bears also the name Hard Rock (which is used by several unaffiliated companies.

Tropicana was built in 1957 but has been renovated several times as it has gone through several owners over the years. The hotel and casino sits on a 35-acre parcel at the corner of Tropicana Boulevard and Las Vegas Boulevard. “It includes 1,470 rooms, 50,000 square feet of casino space with 1,000 gaming positions, a 1,200-seat performance hall, and 100,000 square feet of convention and meeting space,” according to Bally’s.

Bally’s already has a casino license in Nevada which it acquired when it purchased the assets of MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa.

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