'Part of the legacy': Tropicana to close 2 days shy of 67th anniversary on Las Vegas Strip

'Part of the legacy': Tropicana to close 2 days shy of 67th anniversary on Las Vegas Strip
Wild Casino

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Tropicana will be closing two days shy of when it would have marked 67 years of business on the Las Vegas Strip.

The hotel and casino opened on April 4, 1957, and is set to close its doors Tuesday, April 2.

"Part of the legacy of the Tropicana is culture in Las Vegas," Michael Green said, a history professor and the chair for UNLV's history department. "The vital part to me as a historian and as a historical preservationist is that it is the second oldest standing building on the Strip, so this another case of the old Strip going away."

He explained the hotel's start has ties to organized crime.

"When the Tropicana opened, the operators were connected. It turned out to Frank Costello, who was called the prime minister of the mob they found this out when someone tried to kill Costello, and they found in his pocket a piece of paper that showed the take from the Tropicana, which he wasn't supposed to know."

Green detailed the casino's past, which included some of the most diverse entertainment line-ups offered on the famous Strip.

The casino hosted one of the longest-running shows in the city's history.

Folies Bergere performed at the hotel for nearly fifty years, from 1959 to 2009.

The hotel also gave Siegfried and Roy their start on the Las Vegas Strip and were a featured act for the Folies Bergere before branching out on their own.

Green said the casino was a known hot spot for entertainment in the late-1900s.

"When they had the Blue Room, they had everybody from Jazz greats like Dave Brubeck to Rosemary Clooney, so here are all of these major acts in this one hotel," he said.

"Later in 1969 when Kirk Kerkorian opened the International, he would have two show rooms and Elvis was most known for being in one of them, they had the musical 'Hair' and in the other show room Barbara Streisand, in a sense the Tropicana was doing the equivalent to two major show rooms early in its life."