Tropicana Atlantic City is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the World’s Most Famous Boardwalk.
Over four decades, ownership of the casino hotel has changed hands several times. And, it’s hard not to notice how much the property has grown.
Today, the Trop is operated by Caesars Entertainment and is the largest casino hotel on the Boardwalk.
“For almost half a century now, Caesars Entertainment has been committed to Atlantic City and has led the way in positioning the city as a leading gaming and entertainment destination on the East Coast,” said John Koster, regional president for Caesars Entertainment.
As Tropicana turns 40 this month, here is a look at its history, its future, and what it all means for Atlantic City.
History of Tropicana Atlantic City
Tropicana Atlantic City opened on Nov. 23, 1981. It was the ninth Atlantic City casino to open in the immediate years following New Jersey’s legalization of gambling in 1978.
Of course, the original version was much smaller. The casino had two hotel towers with roughly 550 rooms. So what’s changed? Well, here is a little trip down memory lane:
- In 1988, the property became known as TropWorld and a third tower was added.
- Eight years later, the 600-room West Tower was built and the name returned to Tropicana.
- The Havana Tower was completed in 2003, adding another 500 rooms.
- The Quarter opened the following year. (The $280 million, 200,000-square-foot Old-Havana-themed space includes dining, nightlife, retail and entertainment options.)
- The Chelsea Tower became part of Tropicana Atlantic City in 2018.
The property itself is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties. The casino hotel is operated by Caesars Entertainment.
Tropicana has 2,364 rooms and more than 125,000-square feet of gaming space.
Party at Trop AC
To kick off the 40th Anniversary party of Tropicana Atlantic City, the casino hosted a wine tasting dinner at Il Verdi. The 7-course meal and Italian wine pairings highlighted the culinary prowess that has made Il Verdi the highest-rated Atlantic City restaurant on Yelp.
A weekend-long bash at Boogie Nights showcased one of Atlantic City’s most vibrant nightclubs. And it included a nostalgic soundtrack from the days of Tropicana’s debut.
However, the big reception took place Friday night in a grand ballroom reception. The guest list included employees, Seven Stars Rewards members, Caesars executives, media and local officials.
On Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, Tropicana Atlantic City will be giving 40,000 Reward Credits every 40 minutes. One lucky Caesars Rewards member will become an instant millionaire on Nov. 27 at Harrah’s Resort during the Millionaire Maker slot tournament.
‘This is a family’ at Tropicana Atlantic City
Jacqueline Grace, senior vice president and general manager of Trop, and Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. also dedicated a time capsule to preserve the property’s history.
Joining Grace and Small was a dozen-or-so of the 54 day-one Trop employees.
“From the moment that I stepped foot on this property (in the fall of 2020), I knew that I was joining something special,” Grace said.
She later told PlayNJ: “When I think about the team here at Tropicana, the word ‘team’ really doesn’t do it justice. This is a family.”
For day-one employees like Bill Everett, a security guard from Forked River, Tropicana truly has meant family.
Everett met his wife of 37 years while working together at Trop.
“We dated for about a year and got married in 1984,” he said with a huge smile. “We have two children and two beautiful grandchildren.”
C-suite credit to front-line workers
Anthony Carano, president and COO of Caesars Entertainment, said, “It brings our company tremendous pride to celebrate the Tropicana’s 40th-anniversary milestone,” with the employees.
“As Atlantic City cements itself as a modern-day sports, gaming and entertainment destination, our success and growth would not be possible without our dedicated, passionate team members and loyal guests,” he said.
Koster said, “Tropicana’s 40th anniversary is incredibly special” and “we attribute much of our success to our team members who deliver top-notch service to our guests every day.”
Tropicana 40th anniversary celebration images
Here’s to another 40 years for Trop
The future of Tropicana Atlantic City is bright, Grace said.
“We are equally proud of our commitment to the community we serve — now 40 years strong — helping to do our part to make Atlantic City a great place to work, live and play,” she said. “We are beyond excited and proud to celebrate this important milestone and look forward to the future of Tropicana.”
Caesars Entertainment, which also operates Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, is spending $400 million by 2023 across the properties.
AC Mayor Small said the investment is a display of confidence in the city and its casino industry.
“That says a lot about (Caesars’) commitment, it says a lot about where the city is going,” Small said. “And I couldn’t be happier to be mayor during this time.
Images provided by Caesars Entertainment