While Caesars’ Flamingo recently got a stay of execution, another legendary Strip property appears to be on the chopping block.
For a city that still has various Elvis Presley’s, a few Michael Jackson’s, and a Whitney Houston hologram perform every night, Las Vegas has very little nostalgia when it comes to its buildings. The Las Vegas Strip rewards the new and that means that casinos routinely get remodeled and even imploded before something new goes on that site.
Some remodels can be bold but not involve a full tear-down. That’s what’s happening right now at Caesars Entertainment’s (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report Ballys resort/casino. That property will be majorly overhauled and rebranded to the company’s Horseshoe brand, but it won’t be fully torn down.
It was expected that had Caesars sold Flamingo — something it tried and failed to do earlier this year — the new owner would tear it down since the property was built in 1946. That’s veritably ancient in casino years and even though the resort has been revamped and updated many times, it’s likely a teardown if it gets sold, but Caesars seems unlikely to invest that capital in its oldest Strip property.
Another legendary Strip property recently changed hands, however, and its new owner has made it clear that a total teardown remains very possible.
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Bally’s Has Big Plans for Flamingo
Caesars dropped the Bally’s name partially (or maybe entirely) because the actual Bally’s Corp. (BALY) – Get Bally’s Corporation Report may want to use its own brand on the Las Vegas Strip. The casino operator recently acquired the Tropicana, a legendary Strip property, and has long-range plans for the resort/casino.
At the time the deal closed in late September, Bally’s President George Papanier said that changes were coming, but they weren’t imminent. He made a statement that the company planned to operate the property for 18-24 months before making any decision on its future.
Papanier did not say why the company was waiting, but the current funding environment may play a factor. Borrowing money has gotten more expensive as interest rates have risen and that may have made a major refurbishment, or even a teardown less attractive.
Now, however, Bally’s CEO Lee Fenton opened the door to something that could lead to speeding up that timetable.
Flamingo Could Make Way for A’s Stadium
The Tropicana remains one of two Las Vegas sites that have publicly been acknowledged as potential homes for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics. That’s a move that has become more likely in recent weeks as a key deadline passed in Oakland that makes it much less likely that the team gets a new stadium in California.
A site near Circus Circus on the north Strip also remains in contention for the team (but others may also be possible, just not public knowledge).
Now, during Bally’s third-quarter earnings call, Fenton made it clear that Bally’s would consider tearing down the Tropicana to build a stadium for the A’s, Casino.org reported.
Bally’s shared some thoughts on the Tropicana in the slide show that accompanied its Q3 earnings.
“The property benefits from exceptional visibility from McCarran International Airport, East Tropicana Avenue, and the Strip, with annual daily traffic (AADT) of approx. 90,000 cars each day. Potential weekly impressions from signage in this area is estimated to be approx. 400,000,” shared Bally’s.
Bally’s has not made it clear if developing a stadium on the Tropicana site would also include a new resort/casino. It seems likely that it would, given that the company has said the property will eventually carry the Bally’s name and serve as its western flagship.