What would it take to implode Tropicana Las Vegas?

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – It might be closed, but it’s still standing: Tropicana Las Vegas entered a new era of preparing to come down on Wednesday.

Once movers vacate the building of furniture and engineers disconnect utilities from vacant guestrooms, the Bally’s Corporation – which operated the now-closed hotel – is tasked with clearing the land by April 2025. They then intend to hand it over to the A’s for baseball stadium construction.

<em>Crews captured removing furniture from inside Tropicana Las Vegas the day after its closure. (KLAS)</em>
Crews captured removing furniture from inside Tropicana Las Vegas the day after its closure. (KLAS)

However, a Bally’s spokesperson confirmed to 8 News Now on Wednesday that deconstruction plans are not yet finalized, meaning how the historic towers fall remains unclear. That poses a problem for neighboring businesses and residents.

The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, the largest Archdiocese of Las Vegas property near the Strip, is praying for some answers. Montie Chavez said the structure already faces potential relocation when the A’s begin their work directly across the street due to the construction’s footprint.

However, the tear-down beforehand could pose hurdles in the operation that Chavez said may impact the mass attendance seen weekly. The building frequently nears its 2,000-person capacity with a mixture of local and tourist attendees.

“(Deconstruction) could impact mass times. It could impact potential work schedules here,” Chavez said. “We want to make sure that, you know, there’s no impact to the Shrine, whether from a safety or health perspective.”

A handful of other apartments and businesses in the area tell 8 News Now that they too have not yet been contacted by Bally’s to detail the next steps. County records indicate a demolition application for the property has yet to be submitted to Clark County either.

<em>Construction vehicles are staged to the south of Tropicana Las Vegas. (KLAS)</em>
Construction vehicles are staged to the south of Tropicana Las Vegas. (KLAS)

That application would be one of the next steps, according to Jim Gibson, the county commissioner who oversees the district where the hotel is. He points to the Clark County Building Department’s requirements for demolition.

Those entail securing dust control and asbestos abatement permits from the Clark County Department of Sustainability, as most demolitions in unincorporated Clark County do. Specifically for an implosion, that’s on top of evaluating the building’s condition, creating crowd and traffic control plans, providing alternate plans in case of inclement weather and even securing a special events permit.

At least seven county and state departments in total would need to sign off on an implosion. Gibson acknowledges those signoffs would not come unless the residents and businesses surrounding the property are guaranteed safety.

“We will not expose these people to things that can cause serious health concerns,” Gibson said during a phone call Wednesday afternoon.

The Strip’s most recent implosion in 2016 at the former Riviera Hotel property – now housing part of the Las Vegas Convention Center – had to first clear asbestos present inside two towers in the previous months. Bally’s Corporation did not respond to 8 News Now’s question about if they believe asbestos is inside the Tropicana, which was built in 1957.

October is the month that demolition, in whichever form is decided upon, is expected. This likely will be followed by weeks of cleanup.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KLAS.