Tropicana’s Bankruptcy Escape Plan

Tropicana Entertainment has figured out a plan to get itself out of bankruptcy court and it does not hinge on regaining control of the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City.

Las Vegas-based Tropicana Entertainment says it plans to aggressively cut costs, spend money to upgrade facilities and retain top gamblers and employees. The company sought bankruptcy protection in May after losing its casino license in New Jersey. Massive layoffs led to problems with cleanliness and service at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.

“We will be emerging into one of the most difficult markets for gaming and hospitality services ever experienced by the industry,” company CEO Scott Butera said.

“The key for us will be to stabilize our revenue base and grow profits through aggressive cost management; strategic investments in products, services and facilities; targeted customer development and retention programs; and a more motivated and service-driven staff,” he said.

Tropicana released a business plan Nov. 10 designed to position the company as a high-quality but affordably priced option in all its markets. It had been trying to sell its Casino Aztar in Evansville, Ind., in bankruptcy court but prospects for a deal are uncertain, according to a spokesman. A deal for the Vicksburg, Miss., riverboat Horizon Casino Hotel fell through earlier this year.

The company stressed it has not decided whether it plans to keep or sell the Atlantic City Tropicana. Cordish Company has been tapped as a potential buyer in a bankruptcy court auction.