Tropicana keeps pumping cash back into casino-hotel

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Atlantic City’s once-struggling Tropicana casino seems to have found the key to success in the cutthroat casino market: keep pumping cash back into the property — and not just for things involving gambling.

The Tropicana recently completed a $40 million renovation, most of which went for non-gambling amenities. That came on top of a separate $50 million upgrade last year.

General Manager Steve Callender said the Tropicana plans to constantly reinvest in its properties to better compete in an already intense market.

“You have to give people an experience that makes them want to come back, and non-gambling amenities are a big part of that,” he said. “Competition being what it is, we’re going to give people a reason to come back here and not go anyplace else.”

Since taking over the Tropicana in 2010, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has put at least $160 million back into the property on renovations and new attractions.

The latest work includes renovations to 500 hotel rooms; new light shows on the Boardwalk; the new Kiss Kiss A-Go-Go nightclub from club whiz Ivan Kane; a new luxury spa; and a corner market store accessible from the street.

The casino also debuted a new high-limits slots parlour with 157 machines, private concierge service and its own restrooms and cashier booth.

“It’s something we really needed,” Callender said. “One of the things we needed to have was a quality experience for the high-end slots player.”

Through the first five months of this year, the Tropicana ranks third out of Atlantic City’s eight casinos in terms of gambling revenue at $129 million, trailing only the Borgata and Harrah’s.

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