Tropicana Implosion Approved by Las Vegas Officials

Posted on: April 24, 2024, 04:33h. 

Last updated on: April 25, 2024, 10:20h.

Clark County has approved a permit filed by Bally’s Corp. to implode the historic Tropicana Las Vegas. The Rhode Island-based company has until October 20 to drop the Trop.

The Boardwalk Hotel & Casino meets its maker on May 9, 2006. Las Vegas has a long history of staging implosions as public spectacles. (Image: Associated Press)

The approval was granted on April 20, nine days after the permit was filed, but still requires a payment of $48K in application fees to activate, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to the application, the implosion will cost Bally’s $15 million.

Bally’s Chair Soo Kim told the R-J on Wednesday to expect the big event in either September or October, depending upon when GGG Demolition can obtain the proper permits. (The woman-owned, Orange, Calif.-based company’s initials stand for “Going, Going, Gone.”)

These will only be the oldest remaining hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip until the Tropicana gets demolished in September or October. (Image: YouTube/Vegas Ready)

The Tropicana closed its doors on April 2, just short of its 67th birthday. Ohio-based International Content Liquidations (ICL) is currently selling off every part of the casino resort that can be detached — piecemeal and as entire furnished hotel suites — before the implosion.

Curve Balls

Bally’s has repeatedly stated its intention to build a new, $1.5 billion baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics on nine acres of the 35-acre site. Mortenson-McCarthy, the construction firm hired by the A’s, told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority last year that construction would start on the ballpark in April 2025, and finish in time for the start of the 2028 season.

However, the recent further downgrading of Bally’s credit rating into junk territory by Moody’s has cast doubt on its future plans.

In addition to building a baseball stadium, those plans include building an adjoining casino hotel on the Tropicana site. Bally’s has also fallen a reported $800 million short of being able to finance a casino hotel in downtown Chicago.

High leverage and junk credit ratings are problematic for companies seeking financing. That’s because if those firms issue corporate debt, they must do so with high interest rates to compensate creditors for perceived risk.

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. owns the 35-acre Tropicana site. Bally’s entered a 50-year lease for the site with GLPI in 2021.

The biggest fear of many Las Vegas observers is that the Strip will lose yet another icon of its history, and in return, gain only another vacant lot for a decade or longer.