Hotel Tropicana Las Vegas
Imagem: Tropicana / Divulgação

The iconic Tropicana Las Vegas, immortalized in the 1971 film “Diamonds are Forever”, with Sean Connery in the role of James Bond, ended a 67-year chapter by closing its doors this Tuesday (2).

The casino, once the third oldest on the Las Vegas Strip, will be demolished to make way for a $1.5 billion baseball stadium. This work is part of the city’s renewal efforts to become a sports entertainment hub.

Hotel was considered an oasis of luxury

The history of Tropicana is a portrait of the evolution of Las Vegas over the years. When it opened its doors, Las Vegas was a city with just over 100,000 inhabitants, surrounded by a vast desert.

Despite costing US$15 million to build, the Tropicana was considered an oasis of luxury. There were 300 rooms divided into two wings, well-manicured lawns and an elegant showroom that attracted stars such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

But over the decades, the Tropicana has undergone several transformations to keep up with the pace of Las Vegas. They added two hotel towers and installed a $1 million stained glass ceiling at the casino in 1979.

Then, shortly after, the hotel also underwent themed renovations, such as the 1980s rebranding as “The Island of Las Vegas” and the 2011 South Beach renovation.

Today, only the low hotel room wings remain of the Tropicana’s original structure. However, the casino still maintains the vintage Las Vegas nostalgia. There are stained glass windows and low ceilings that remind us of the city’s glory days.

Tropicana Las Vegas was part of the history of the World Gambling Capital

But its long history has not left it free from controversy. The Tropicana, behind the scenes of its opening, had ties to organized crime and faced accusations related to mafia activities in Las Vegas.

Despite the controversies, the Tropicana was a landmark in the history of Las Vegas. It was home to the city’s longest-running spectacle, such as “Folies Bergere”, which featured dancers, acrobats and magic shows.

The cabaret was featured in Elvis Presley’s film “Viva Las Vegas” and boosted the careers of magicians Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn.

The demolition of the Tropicana marks the end of an era in Las Vegas, but it also represents the city’s constant reinvention.

So, with the new Oakland Athletics baseball stadium slated for the site, the ‘Gaming Capital of the World‘ is once again transforming while staying true to its reputation for always being innovative and surprising.