Tropicana Casino AC Buys Chelsea Hotel, Expands 200,000-Square-Foot Empire

Updated on July 20, 2017
Tropicana NJ casino Chelsea Hotel


Ask the Tropicana Atlantic City Corp. why the chicken crossed the road: because the The Chelsea Hotel was on the other side.

Earlier this month, Tropicana Entertainment Inc. announced its Atlantic City division had purchased The Chelsea Hotel, a property right across the street from the Tropicana. According to a press release from Tropicana, the plan is to integrate the neighboring property into existing operations. It will be known as “The Chelsea Tower at Tropicana Atlantic City.”

“The Chelsea Tower is a great addition to our four existing hotel towers at Tropicana Atlantic City,” said Tropicana’s Tony Rodio in the press release. “Guests will be able to enjoy a boutique hotel feel while having full access to all resort options at Tropicana Atlantic City.”

Going boutique in a big-box world

“Smaller is better” has never really been Atlantic City’s motto.

The Boardwalk is laden with massive hotel towers standing shoulder to shoulder with the Trop, and the Borgata looms in the distance.

The Chelsea isn’t exactly small — it boasts 20 stories and 330 rooms. But it does have excellent ocean views and, according to the press release, “retro charm.”

Tropicana says the new acquisition will open next month. Future plans for the Chelsea include building a skyway that connects the property to the Trop’s main campus across the street.

Acquisition makes Tropicana Casino an even bigger oceanfront behemoth

Even without the Chelsea, the Trop has more than 2,300 rooms, 24 restaurants, 25 shops, 18 watering holes, and a pair of pools at its New Jersey casino resort.

In all, the Trop encompasses 200,000 square feet of entertainment.

A pre-emptive strike against Borgata and Harrah’s?

Last month, the Press of Atlantic City reported Borgata owner MGM and Harrah’s, owned by Caesars, filed paperwork to start development somewhere in Atlantic City.

The odds-on favorite of the development’s location is the open lot between Borgata and Harrah’s on Renaissance Point and Brigantine boulevards. However, it remains to be seen where the two casinos are going to do their work.

This may be the most interesting aspect of Tropicana’s acquisition. Is it trying to get the jump on its neighbors to the north by being the first casino to expand amid a new, more profitable Atlantic City era?

It’s speculation at this point, but with so much talk of Atlantic City experiencing a rebirth, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

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