Countdown to NamesCon 2016: Part 1 – History of the Tropicana Hotel

NamesCon Logo

NamesCon has been held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, a hotel with history dating back to 1955, eleven years before Caesars Palace opened. It looked something like this:

Tropicana Hotel

The original mind behind the Tropicana was Ben Jaffe, an executive at the Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach who bought the land where the Tropicana stands today back in 1955. It took longer than expected, and like most construction projects was more expensive than expected but in 1957 it opened to the public.

Unfortunately our buddy Jaffe didn’t have the best judgements when it comes to friends and he leased it to a guy named Phil with connections to organized crime, I’ll leave it at that.

The owners of the Las Vegas Club bought a majority share in the Tropicana in 1959 and enjoyed endured 9 years running the hotel while it was getting clobbered by the Las Vegas Hilton and Caesar’s Palace. Suffice it to say that it changed hands a few times, in one case also to someone involved with organized crime, until it finally ended-up in the hands of Ramada Inns in 1979.

Ramada Inn Logo

So Ramada ran the Tropicana smoothly into the future, right? Guess again. Ramada ended-up spinning off their gaming properties (including the Tropicana) and  sold it to a company that was then acquired by another company that then went bankrupt.

vintage-pool-tropicana

That company was then bought by another company and Alex Yemenidjian (former MGM/Mirage CEO) was put in as the new CEO.

alex-yemenidjian-tropicana-hotel

In August of 2015 (yes just last year) Tropicana was purchased by Penn National Gaming for $360M. Yes, it has changed hands quite a bit over the year, it’s a historic hotel, and you might also recognize it from movies like James Bond – Diamonds are Forever, The Godfather, Charlie’s Angels and many more.

It’s a bit ironic but while NamesCon is busy making domain industry history they’ll be doing it in a pretty darn historic place. Tomorrow I’ll be covering my top picks of talks to attend for anyone interested in SEO and Internet Marketing, stay-tuned!

Image sources:
Tropican 1980 – http://www.vegastripping.com/news/blog/3270/camp-vegas-50-years-ago/
Alex Yemenidjian – http://ggbmagazine.com/issue/vol-8-no-10-october-2009/article/alex-yemenidjian

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