In an interview, Mr. Kim said that the renovation was ultimately an opportunity to grow employment.
“The Trop is obviously iconic, but it is, really, in a lot of ways, economically obsolete,” Mr. Kim said, noting that the 35-acre site was worth more than the current economic capacity of the casino. “It literally is part of the glitz and glamour of Vegas, but it hasn’t been that for decades,” he added, noting that when it came to signing a deal to develop the site for a baseball stadium, it was a “no-brainer.”
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents tens of thousands of workers across Nevada, has vowed to protect employees of the Tropicana. “The union can help them find work during the remodel or the rebuild, and these workers have to be hired back first,” Ted Pappageorge, the secretary-treasurer of the union, said in an interview, noting that the workers’ contract stipulates they get a severance package. Not all of the casino’s workers, however, are in the union. “They’re at the whim of the employer,” Mr. Pappageorge said.
Tawana Moore, who has been a guest room attendant at the Tropicana for 17 years, and is a union member, said on Thursday that workers had not heard anything from the company since the bill was signed into law. “We have made this our home,” Ms. Moore said in an earlier interview. “We’re sad, but happy at the same time — sad because we’ve been here forever, and some people don’t know how to start over, and some people are happy, because change is good. I welcome change.”
The looming stadium deal is not the first time the Tropicana has been threatened. Shortly after the 300-room resort opened, an attempt on the life of the crime boss Frank Costello exposed his ties to the casino, plunging it into controversy. By the 1970s, the resort was already struggling to compete with larger operations like Caesars Palace, and at the end of that decade, the F.B.I. exposed a mob-skimming operation that eventually forced the owners to sell the property. The Tropicana has since changed hands several times.