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Tropicana unveils $35M renovation project for Atlantic City casino

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Tropicana's Atlantic City casino will be transforming into an eye-popping, high-tech light and sound show under a $35 million renovation plan unveiled Tuesday by the resort operator.
Tropicana's Atlantic City casino will be transforming into an eye-popping, high-tech light and sound show under a $35 million renovation plan unveiled Tuesday by the resort operator. - (Photo courtesy of Tropicana)

The boardwalk facade of Tropicana's Atlantic City casino would be transformed into an eye-popping, high-tech light and sound show under a $35 million renovation plan unveiled Tuesday by the resort operator.

The proposed capital improvements, which are contingent on state and local approvals, also include a new fitness club, expanded retail space and a complete renovation of more than 400 hotel rooms, Tropicana said in a news release. Construction could begin as soon as the third quarter and be complete by year-end 2015, reportedly with the help of nearly $19 million in state funding.

The project would refresh the 33-year-old casino as New Jersey's gaming market continues its seven-year slide. Tony Rodio, Tropicana Entertainment's president and CEO, said "projects like these provide us with the opportunity to create new experiences and enhance the comfort of our guests."

"We are excited about the prospect of creating and investing in these innovative renovations," Rodio said in a prepared statement, adding that, if approved, the project would bring new retail businesses and jobs to the seaside resort town.

The largest piece of the plan calls for renovating Tropicana's boardwalk façade to become a "must-see," fully choreographed and light and sound show, the news release said. The interactive display would run nightly at timed intervals, using 20-foot-high light-projecting bollards and nine LED screens.

Meantime, Tropicana would add three retailers to its boardwalk area and extend and redesign the dining room of its FIN restaurant, the operator said. The resort also would take 10,000 square feet of underutilized space to create four new retail sites at Pacific and Morris avenues, highlighted by new lighting and a jumbo video screen.

Other components include a new two-story fitness club on Brighton Avenue and a plan to modernize and upgrade 434 hotel rooms in its north tower.

Tropicana said it still needs a series of state and local permits and approvals, including those from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the state Economic Development Authority. Published reports said the project won preliminary approval Tuesday from CRDA's board, which would offer nearly $19 million in funding.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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