by Michael J. Shapiro | August 25, 2015
Penn National Gaming is now the official owner of the 1,467-room Tropicana Las Vegas, providing the company with a long-sought presence on the Las Vegas Strip. The deal, which closed Tuesday, follows last week's approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission of the $360 million purchase.

"Our regional gaming customers have long asked us to offer them an attractive destination on the Las Vegas Strip," noted Penn CEO Timothy Wilmott. "After our disciplined search, we believe the iconic Tropicana Las Vegas will successfully address customer demand for a Strip property while enhancing our already strong competitive position in the local markets where we operate." The Wyomissing, Pa.-based Penn National Gaming now operates 27 gaming and racing facilities across 17 jurisdictions, including the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nev.

In the first phase of a two-part, three- to five-year plan, Penn will invest approximately $20 million over the next six to nine months on facility improvements and the integration of the property into its portfolio. That includes an upgrade to the technology infrastructure, which will allow Penn to launch its loyalty program, Marquee Rewards, at the resort by the second quarter of next year. Penn will assess the scope of its Phase 2 investment as it operates the Tropicana, but possible enhancements include the addition of retail space, more food-and-beverage options, casino floor improvements and additional guest rooms.

The Tropicana Las Vegas will continue to be a DoubleTree Hotel and part of the Hilton HHonors loyalty program.