Last updated: 09:23 AM ET, Fri May 01 2015

Penn National to Buy Tropicana Las Vegas

Hotel & Resort | Ryan Rudnansky | May 01, 2015

Penn National to Buy Tropicana Las Vegas

PHOTO: The main suite area at the recently renovated Tropicana Las Vegas. (Photo by Mark Murphy)

Penn National Gaming Inc. announced on Wednesday that it has entered an agreement to purchase Tropicana Las Vegas Casino Hotel Resort for $360 million.

The Pennsylvania-headquartered company, which owns and operates more than 25 gaming and racing facilities in the United States and Canada, makes a strong foray into the lucrative Las Vegas market with this purchase.

“The planned acquisition of Tropicana Las Vegas establishes a strong presence on the Las Vegas Strip for Penn National Gaming, fulfilling an important long-term strategic objective for the company,” said Timothy Wilmott, chief executive officer of Penn National Gaming, per a release.

“Given our goal of leveraging Penn National’s database of nearly 3 million active regional gaming customers, we have spent the past several years reviewing an acquisition of numerous gaming assets in Las Vegas,” Wilmott added. “The Tropicana is a quality facility that can serve as an attractive destination offering for current Penn National customers, which further enhances our strong competitive position in the regional gaming markets in which we operate across the United States.”

Wilmott said there were several things Penn National liked about Tropicana Las Vegas.

For one, the 35-acre property just underwent a major $200 million renovation, which included revitalizing all guest rooms and making marked improvements to the ballroom, conference meeting space and Pavilion exhibition space, the 1,200-seat showcase performance theater, restaurant and entertainment areas, and the facility’s infrastructure and mechanical systems.

Secondly, Penn National expects Tropicana Las Vegas’ proximity to the upcoming 20,000-seat capacity MGM - AEG Arena (slated for mid-2016) to boost its clout.

Penn National apparently isn’t satisfied yet, though. The company announced a two-step plan to further revitalize the property, which traces back to 1957 and has been the setting for several major films throughout the years.

The first phase will include an infusion of $20 million to upgrade facilities and integrate Penn National’s nationwide database (with the goal of launching Penn National’s loyalty program, Marquee Rewards, at the property).

The second phase will add retail space, food and beverage outlets and casino improvements, with the potential of introducing new hotel rooms.

Wilmott said he expects the full process to take about three to five years.

Tropicana Las Vegas currently features a 50,000-square-foot casino with more than 1,000 gaming positions.

Penn National intends to fund the acquisition through an expansion of its existing credit facilities and cash on hand.


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