In the year 1955 Ben Jaffe, a hotel executive from Miami Florida, arrived in Las Vegas and bought 40-acres of land on the (then) desolate corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Bond Road (now Tropicana Avenue). His goal was to build the most elegant hotel in Las Vegas, featuring the ambiance of Cuba and the elegance of France and Italy.
Plagued by construction delays and budget overruns due in part to competition for skilled labor with the under-construction Stardust Hotel. Ben Jaffe was forced to sell his interests in other properties to finance the completion of the construction of the Tropicana Hotel. Finally, in April of 1957, the Tropicana Hotel and Casino opened its doors to the public.
After opening Ben Jaffe leased the property to Phil Kastel, however, the Nevada Gaming Control Board quickly raised suspicions over Kastel's alleged links to organized crime, these allegations were later confirmed when a note containing the Tropicana's earnings figures were found in possession of known mobster Frank Costello. Jaffe next leased the Tropicana to the owner of the Las Vegas Club, J. Kell Housells, and by 1959 Housells had bought out Jaffe's interest in the Tropicana becoming the majority shareholder in the hotel.
Throughout the 1960s the Tropicana fared poorly against the growing competition from the larger hotels, such as Caesars Palace, that started to appear on the Las Vegas strip. By 1968 facing increasing losses Houssels sold the Tropicana to Trans-Texas Airways and after a series of sales ending in 1975, the Tropicana came to be owned by chemical heiress Mitzi Briggs.
A skimming operation by the Kansas City organized crime syndicate was discovered operating out of the Tropicana in the late 1970's and Mitzi Briggs was forced to sell the hotel. Ramada Inns Inc. ended up buying the hotel in the last month of 1979.
The Ramada Inn Inc. owned the Tropicana till 1989 when it sold off all of its gaming properties. In 1989 the Tropicana Hotel was purchased by the Aztar Corporation and they owned the property till their parent company went into bankruptcy in 2008. Once again going through a succession of owners the Tropicana was finally purchased by Penn National Gaming and they continue to operate the Tropicana to this day.
Although the owner may change the Tropicana has weathered all the storms and continues to be an anchor on the Southern end of the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip.
Tropicana Hotel & Casino Chips
100 - $5 chips
100 - $25 chips
100 - $100 chips
1 - brown locking real wood interior vinyl case for 300 chips and 2 decks of cards
2 Vintage Las Vegas playing card decks
With this set you receive:
1 - $5
1 - $5 No Cash Value
1 - $25
1 - $100 No Cash Value
These casino chips are authentic and come in a 4 chip display case for safe keeping and to display as part of your collection of casino memorabilia!