Tropicana: Five new things

In the past two years, the 54-year-old Tropicana has undergone a $180 million renovation. It barely looks like its former, dated self.

The resort, which now has a South Beach vibe, has been transformed into a mid-market property flush with new features.

Below is a list of five parts of the resort that have been updated as part of the ongoing renovations. They are worth a second look.

Click here for list of five things that haven't changed.

Find the full story about renovations at the Tropicana here.

Tropicana Renovations - Nikki Beach/Club Nikki
Steve Marcus

Rooms

Tropicana recently finished renovating all of its available 1,375 rooms in two hotel towers. The room upgrade accounted for much of the $180 million makeover and has been key in its ability to attract more customers willing to spend a greater amount of money.

Tropicana guests aren’t going to get the cheapest rooms on the Strip, nor is the property seeking customers who have that goal in mind, President Tom McCartney said. “The market is evolving. We needed to attract a new clientele,” he said.

Customers seem to like the tropical décor, although some have inquired about where they can purchase the hotel’s pillowtop mattresses and linens, he said.

Multiple low-rise wings original to the hotel and containing nearly 100 rooms with balconies are still closed, awaiting remodeling that will include poolside rooms.

Tropicana Renovations - Nikki Beach/Club Nikki
Steve Marcus

Casino floor

Tropicana replaced its outdated, gold-accented interior with white floors, columns and chairs. The whitewashed look, replicated in its outdoor facade and restaurants, is inspired by South Beach, which is appropriate for a vacation getaway like Las Vegas, McCartney said.

“It looks like a creamsicle,” Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor newsletter, said of the hotel’s orange-accented whites and tans.

Also associated with white is a tropical fragrance the new owners are pumping through the hotel to put people in a pleasant, vacation mood: It’s coconut mixed with almond, McCartney said.

For Las Vegas tourists in a drinking mood, the scent may conjure images of a white concoction available at the bar: pina coladas.

Tropicana Renovations - Nikki Beach/Club Nikki
Steve Marcus

Race and sports book

The race and sports book, now near the casino’s side entrance, is run by Cantor Gaming, a bookmaking company that offers a high-tech form of sports betting called “in-running” that allows gamblers to make split-second betting decisions throughout a sporting event. Cantor, an affiliate of investment banking giant Cantor Fitzgerald, is known for accepting a wider range of bets at higher limits than many Las Vegas books. Through Cantor, Tropicana also offers mobile gambling devices that can be used to place bets outside the sports book.

By outsourcing its sports book, the Tropicana wanted to create a more enticing option for gamblers, McCartney said.

Tropicana Renovations - Nikki Beach/Club Nikki
Steve Marcus

Nikki Beach, Club Nikki & Café Nikki

Nikki Beach, which runs a chain of luxury beach clubs in exotic destinations such as St. Tropez and Greece, is opening its largest location at Tropicana. The admission-fee beach club, modeled after a Nikki Beach location in Marbella, Spain, is terraced on multiple levels leading down to a small pool. Among the seating arrangements are daybeds and tepees with lounge chairs, refrigerators, counters and locked safes.

The club will feature live entertainment from musicians and dancers as well as international DJs. Servers will deliver drinks from several bars and food from Café Nikki.

An attached nightclub that opens onto the beach club is also terraced, with theater-style seating. The white and wood materials emphasize the natural over the synthetic, including shell, stone and bamboo. Performers will appear for special events, bearing Champagne and entering from overhead chairs that move along tracks attached to the ceiling.

Café Nikki, which opens to the beach club, serves breakfast and lunch but stays open late for the nightclub crowd.

Tropicana executives call the 1.8-acre complex a coup for the property, as Nikki Beach is a worldwide brand known for attracting a young, well-traveled crowd of “beautiful people.”

To build interest in the club, executives plan to broadcast club action onto the side of the Tropicana facing the north side of Las Vegas Boulevard, giant moving images easily viewed by passers-by.

Tropicana Renovations - Nikki Beach/Club Nikki
Steve Marcus

Side entrance

At its north side facing Tropicana Avenue, the property built a modern entrance with nearby valet parking for those visiting the Nikki Beach and nightclub venues. The white granite entrance features bamboo accents and will be distinguished from its main entrance by club music booming through a sound system.

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