Thursday, December 13, 2007

What's Up, Trop?

This is about the time of week when I'd write up a "News Around the South Jersey Shore" post, but there's only one story I really care about right now: the Tropicana.

Yesterday, New Jersey Casino Control Commission refused to renew the Tropicana's gaming license. They've put the property in the trustee hands of former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein.

Big news? Absolutely. It's only the second time this has happened since gambling became legal in Atlantic City. Things have hit rock bottom if the gaming comission is shutting down a casino.

So what happened? On January 3, Columbia Sussex Corp., which owned (and lost control through this ruling) of the Trop slashed 900 jobs, and now the casino/resort is in a state of chaos. It's understaffed and, as I heard, "filthy" because a lot of the jobs cut were those of housekeepers.

I've stayed at the Trop twice and didn't see a problem, but if it's bad enough that the state has shut down a casino, then something's really wrong here.

If you're headed to the Trop, know this: the casino is still open. Why? That magic word of "appeal." Stay tuned. This will be an interesting one.

For more information, check out articles in Newsday, The New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Steve said...

This is weird, since I thought the Quarter set the standard that every casino there should follow (or has tried to). I stayed at the Quarter 2 years ago and there's no better casino for nightlife (save the Borgota).

Someone must have slept with someone else's wife. Weird.

Jen A. Miller said...

Steve -

I think the problem was those massive layoffs, which riled the remaining employees, and the union. The Trop has the most hotel rooms of any place in Atlantic City and to cut 900 people, some of which cleaned those rooms? Plus tick off all the remaining employees? Not a good mix.

I also noticed that when I played the slots at the Trop (all $5 of it), I was never asked if I wanted a drink. Not that I'm a drunk, but usually cocktails waitresses come over and ask you, but after a half hour -- nadda.

Now, I haven't noticed ANY slowdown at the establishments of the Quarter, but those are, for the most part, operated by other owners who pay their own employees, so the nightlife -- which ranges from drinking 40s at Adam Good Sports Bar to the swank of Providence, isn't really affected. There's been talks about selling JUST the Quarter, too.

Weird place, Atlantic City is.