Makeover of Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas on Hold

The start of a $2.5 billion makeover of the Tropicana hotel-casino has been delayed until at least 2008 because of a volatile debt market and rising construction costs, a company spokesman said.

Hud Englehart, a spokesman for the casino's parent company Columbia Sussex Corp., said the renovation is temporarily on hold due to "some operating issues and some credit markets."

"The company will continue to evaluate those markets to determine when the project will be initiated," Englehart said.

The Tropicana received approval in March from Clark County commissioners to expand the 34-acre property from its current inventory of 1,880 rooms. Those plans call for a mixed-use,
five-tower, 10,000-room development on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The delay comes during a credit crunch that has many large financiers withdrawing from worldwide commitments.

Ft. Mitchell, Ky.-based hotel Columbia Sussex is a privately held company controlled by its Chief Executive Officer William Yung III. It owns and operates more than a dozen casinos in North America under its subsidiary, Tropicana Casinos & Resorts.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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