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Chris Sieroty

Tropicana Las Vegas unveils latest overhaul

23 March 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Tropicana Las Vegas is in the midst of a third overhaul of its nightclub and dayclub.

Just three weeks after closing the short-lived Tropicana's RPM, the nightclub and dayclub that replaced the failed South Beach-styled Nikki Beach concept, the 30,000-square-foot space is being remade for a new occupant.

The One Group has leased the space adjacent to the pool and will establish its Bagatelle concept that has been successful in New York City, opening Bagatelle Beach and Bagatelle Nightclub by May 28.

"I feel comfortable we have chosen someone that will build not only their brand but ours as well," said Tom Racine, vice president of food, beverage and retail at the Tropicana Las Vegas.

Racine declined to discuss terms of the deal.

"Nikki Beach is a wonderful brand," he said, adding that there's no "specific road map" to having a hit in Las Vegas and it's good to try different concepts.

Miami-based Nikki Beach opened on May 26 of last year as part of the Tropicana Las Vegas' $165 million renovation. By the time the Tropicana severed its contract with Nikki Beach in September, the operator had added Cafe Nikki, Club Nikki and Nikki Beach. All are now closed.

With the failure of Nikki Beach and the elimination of RPM, it raises an important question: Does a property need a nightclub or poolside dayclub to be successful?

The answer from Racine and Jonathan Segal, CEO of the One Group, is "yes."

The daytime Bagatelle Beach experience will offer a full dayclub, with Mediterranean dining, daybeds for lounging and beachside activities. Come nightfall, Bagatelle Nightclub will offer poolside dining with access to the new full-service indoor nightclub.

"Following the successful opening of STK at The Cosmopolitan, we are extremely excited to expand our footprint here in Las Vegas with Bagatelle," Segal said.

But are there too many clubs in Las Vegas?

"They enter a very competitive market," Racine said. "But we are not stealing market share, what we are doing is adding another element that makes this a place to go to."

Segal agreed, saying the club is not designed to compete with Surrender and Marquee, and instead will offer an alternative to noisy, crowded and high-priced clubs.

"Those clubs are wonderful, but many people don't feel comfortable there," Segal said. "We are going for a slightly older crowd, people in their 30s and 40s, who want more of a lounge setting."

Segal said the group plans to bring its culinary touch to the new Tropicana venue.

"We're going to completely change the paradigm of the nightclub and dayclub," Segal said in a phone interview. "Instead of just hanging out in a cabana and ordering $200 bottles, you can come to the Tropicana and have an inclusive daytime or nighttime experience."

Segal said the venue will have a 250-seat outdoor eatery with a Mediterranean-style menu that will transfer to a full restaurant at night. He said the venue will also have volleyball courts and a 1,000-square-foot stage in a concert area able to host 2,500 to 3,000 people.

"Where else can you have dinner and a concert?" Segal said. "It doesn't exist in Las Vegas."