LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – As much of the world outside of Las Vegas looks to the land southeast of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard as a new baseball stadium’s eventual home, the staff at the currently standing hotel there sees something else.

The memories made underneath the glass ceiling, the people met at the bar and the history they’ll forever be a part of: employees at The Tropicana Hotel, some with seniority nearly as long as the property’s existence, are preparing for their final farewell.

As those waves of nostalgia shock the remaining six hundred employees there, those like Doorman Dean Davis feel like it’s day one again. He was onboarded after working in the used car industry over 33 years ago.

“It took me three interviews, finally, after the third, (the hiring manager) said, ‘Well, I might as well give you a shot,’” Davis said with a laugh inside the Trago Lounge Friday morning. “It was always great money with tips. The quality of my life was very high.”

Call it holiday cheer: Barbara Boggess stuck around for 45 years after janitorial work at Nellis Airforce Base left room for on-the-job excitement. She’s one of the property’s most seasoned employees through her time working in the guest rooms, to the porte cochere, to the hotel phone line, to her ending position as a linen room attendant.

“I was going to work October until December to make extra Christmas money,” Boggess said inside the lounge, speaking about her initial intentions when onboarding in the late 70s. “If they would stay open, I probably would still be here working.”

However, time is ticking, and memories are flowing, similar to the drinks Charlie Granado poured for 38 years. The bartender remembers lounge acts that drew in crowds, regulars that kept him company, and harrowing events that required him to do more than just pour.

“During 9-11, there were two girls from Boston. They couldn’t go back home. They were stuck here. So, the Tropicana put them up,” Granado said at the Trago Lounge bar. “One of them was real emotional. I talked to her, calmed her down. Got her some drinks. We talked and talked. They came back (a year later) to see me, to thank me, how good I was, how happy they were to have me calm them down, to make them feel at home. That made me feel real good.”

Though those moments have faded, they say even a baseball stadium cannot replace the family they formed at work. Most of them say they are exchanging contact information and creating social media groups to ensure April 2 is not the last day they are together as that family.

“When I get up Wednesday morning, not having to be here at work, I guess there’ll be some time for reflection,” Davis said.

“We don’t call each other by name. We call out, ‘Hey sister. Hi sister,’” Boggess said.
“Kinda choked me up thinking, ‘Oh my god, it’s coming,’” Granado said. “It’s not going to be forgotten. You can’t forget an icon place like this.”

Several employees have already obtained work at nearby hotels and casinos, while several others call this the perfect time to head into retirement.

While Bally’s Corporation has confirmed the hotel’s deconstruction will come sometime in October, they have yet to detail if that will be through an implosion or not.


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