The Tropicana casino on the Las Vegas Strip is located at 3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (1.888.381.8767) The hotel has 1000 rooms and suites, and is close to other casinos like the Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. The casino is 50,000 square feet and amenities include the Laugh Factory Las Vegas with a weekly lineup of the hottest comedians in the business; Celebrity magician Murray; and “Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” returns seasonally.
History of the Tropicana Hotel
The Tropicana was the brainchild of Phil Kastel and Carlos Marcello. Kastel talked Florida businessman Ben Jaffe, a partner in the Fontainebleau Hotel, into investing some money in Las Vegas, offering to help with the costs and setting up the casino. It all sounded great until construction began in 1956 and the cost over-runs forced Jaffe to sell his beloved Fontainebleau.
With nearly $3 million invested, Jaffe couldn’t say “no” to the ideas and new costs incurred by the Taylor Construction Company. Kastel got a nice kickback on the construction fees, equaling almost his entire $500,000 investment. Before too long, Jaffe had fallen right into the quicksand of the desert that had swallowed “Bugsy” Siegel ten years earlier. To meet the new costs, Jaffe was also forced to sell his insurance company and all his worldly possessions.
By the time the property Tropicana casino finally opened in April of 1957, Jaffe had relinquished control of nearly the entire property to his partners, who included Frank Costello, head of the Mob’s Committee in New York, and Meyer Lansky, who was handling the finances. Louis Lederer and J. Kell Houssels, Sr. were licensed to run the casino and nearly 30 percent of all the profits were cut-up and sent to New York as “skim,” the unlisted and untaxed profits the Mob took off the top.
At the end of the first month of operation, Frank Costello was shot in his New York apartment building. He lived, and refused to divulge the shooter’s name, but the NYPD found the gross receipt numbers for the Tropicana casino in his pocket. Regardless, the Mob controlled the property for another twenty years!
Today’s Tropicana Resort
The Tropicana casino today has much to offer guests, including the Mob Attraction Las Vegas, made up of actors, holograms and over 1,000 Mob artifacts. The interactive experience showcases famous organized crime figures and is a lot of fun!
The resort also has a health and fitness club, a Mandara Spa (6am – 8pm), a wedding chapel, and convention and business space. In the hotel, room amenities include the standard clock-radio alarm, pay-per-view, hair drer, iron and ironing board, and internet access that is included in the mandatory $19.99 per day “resort” fee on top of your standard room rate.
Outside is a two-acre tropically landscaped pool area with lagoons and cabanas. Bagatelle Beach is scheduled to open in late spring 2013. Inside there are six restaurant and as many bars.
Nightlife is great at the Trop, with the 4,000-square-foot Tropicana Lounge. The Tropicana casino has 800 slot and video poker machines, Let It Ride, craps, blackjack, roulette, Big Six, Pai Gow poker and bonus poker, and mini baccarat. You’ll also enjoy the Cantor Race and Sports Book with some of the most technologically advanced wagering on the Strip.
Currently in Concert
Right now, Roseanne is playing weekly on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights at 7pm. Afterwards you can head to the nightclub or try the casino. Either way, you stay should be fun and exciting without breaking your budget for a hotel stay.