An exterior of the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. File photo, April, 28 , 2009.

Danny Drake

ATLANTIC CITY — Tropicana Casino and Resort will undertake a $25 million renovation this fall, upgrading its hotel rooms, casino floor and restaurants as part of a multiyear overhaul of the Boardwalk property.

Remodeling 16 floors in the North Tower, the oldest part of the hotel complex, is the centerpiece of the project. The North Tower includes 437 rooms and junior suites.

Tony Rodio, Tropicana’s president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday the casino is embarking on a four-year master plan that calls for renovations to all four of its hotel towers. The company’s board of directors has given conceptual approval to the plan, but has committed funding for only the North Tower and other parts of the first phase of the project so far, he added.

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“We want to do stuff over the next few years to completely transform the facility,” Rodio said. “In each of the four years we would renovate a tower.”

The North Tower’s refurbished guest rooms will feature contemporary furnishings, new carpeting, textured wall coverings and upgraded bathrooms. Tropicana now joins with other casinos in town in concentrating on their hotel rooms in the pursuit of more overnight guests.

Joseph Weinert, a casino analyst and senior vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group, said it is crucial for Tropicana and other casinos to make capital investments if they want to remain competitive.

“Those who do not reinvest in their properties risk failure, especially in light of new investment that Revel, Golden Nugget and Borgata have made,” Weinert said. “It’s imperative that a major property like Tropicana continues to put its best foot forward. It’s a property that has a lot to offer.”

Tropicana will also enhance the casino floor by adding 150 new slot machines at a cost of $4 million. Rodio has been encouraged by seven straight months of growth with Tropicana’s slots revenue.

On the nongambling side, Tropicana is creating a new gourmet Italian restaurant and will expand Tango’s Lounge. Another new attraction will be a trattoria, or “restaurant within a restaurant,” featuring a casual Italian dining experience and rustic atmosphere.

“These significant renovations reinforce our ongoing investment in Atlantic City,” Rodio said. “We are committed to working with the city and area businesses to continue to evolve Atlantic City's reputation as a vibrant entertainment choice and a world-class, multiday tourist destination.”

Construction is scheduled to start after Labor Day weekend and should be finished by the end of the year.

Rodio said the project reflects the company’s growing confidence in the Atlantic City market following a series of government reforms to boost tourism.

“Due to the commitment and support for Atlantic City from both the city and state, we are confident to make this type of reinvestment,” he said.

The renovation project follows Tropicana’s grand opening this month of its Boogie Nights dance club, a disco-themed entertainment complex. Tango’s expansion will take the nightlife scene a notch higher.

Tropicana’s Atlantic City casino is the flagship of parent company Tropicana Entertainment Inc., controlled by billionaire investor Carl Icahn cq. The company owns and operates nine casinos and resorts in New Jersey, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Aruba. The Atlantic City casino includes The Quarter, a mall-like retail, dining and nightclub complex.

Tropicana’s renovations continue a wave of construction in recent months throughout Atlantic City’s casino industry. The $2.4 billion Revel megaresort, which debuted April 2, is planning a formal grand opening celebration over the Memorial Day weekend headlined by pop superstar Beyonce.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City has just completed a $150 million facelift to its casino, hotel rooms, retail shops, lounges and spa. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is in the finishing stages of a $50 million renovation of its 2,000-room hotel tower. Weinert said Tropicana’s project will “help deliver an experience that rivals the best competitors in Atlantic City.”

“It’s not a nine-figure investment, but $25 million can still make a difference in the look, feel and experience of that property,” he said.

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