Final hours: Tropicana Las Vegas casino closes after nearly 7 decades

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Final hours: Tropicana Las Vegas casino closes after nearly 7 decades
Wild Casino

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The final chapter of the nearly 67-year history of the iconic Tropicana Las Vegas is written. The doors were permanently locked forever on Tuesday.

Several longtime Las Vegas residents and tourists flocked to the casino overnight to take last-minute selfies with the Tropicana sign and share sentimental moments of a history-making building that will soon be a memory.

“It’s very sentimental because I used to come here with my friends, family, and family that are no longer with us, so it’s very emotional to come see the Tropicana for the last time,” said Chris Avila, a Las Vegas resident.

Vegas locals reflected on the good ol’ days at the Tropicana – recalling visiting as children, watching shows like “Rock the Vault,” “Legends in Concert,” and the “Laugh Factory,” as well as going to the arcades back when the machines were older and had coin slots.

“I’m so sad. It’s a classic. It’s an antique. It has a lot of history in Las Vegas,” said Las Vegas resident Carmen Pelegrino. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid in the 90s. My mom would bring me here all the time. I remember when it was painted blue… it was a really wonderful experience with me and my family coming to Tropicana.”

Gamblers and players hoping to score big on the final night packed the casino before the final closing announcements rang out during the early morning hours on Tuesday.

“We wanted to be part of a legend and we wanted to see this legendary casino close,” California resident Edward Palwick said. “I’ve lost hundreds and thousands of dollars here in the past and tonight I actually left a winner. I won $75 playing on that slot machine, which I’ve never done before.”

Others may not have earned as much, but still had a history-making win.

“It’s only $4,” said California resident Will Ross, the last person to cash out at the Tropicana casino. “I might actually frame it and hang it up on the wall. I didn’t think I would be the last one in there. I guess I closed them out.”

“The staff in here are all wonderful. They’ve been good to us over the years, as well. So, it’s been a really sad experience, and also the machines are starting to go off and be shut down and it’s just quite sad,” said Claire Knight, who was checking out of the hotel.

The guests who spent Monday night at Tropicana Hotel had to check out by 1 p.m. Tuesday. Hotel rooms on the final night cost more than $600.