Friday, March 25, 2011

LVW: The Tropicana's Strange Gladys Knight Thing

And here's my latest Las Vegas Weekly entry, trying -- and failing -- to analyze the notion of Gladys Knight as the face of the Tropicana. Enjoy. -sf

Tropicana’s decision to headline
Gladys Knight is a real head-scratcher

Until last week, the Tropicana’s new management had been firing on all cylinders. It’s impossible to overstate the miracle they have pulled off in just 18 months, turning a decrepit and tragically mismanaged joke of a Strip institution into a resurgent, widely re-embraced remnant of Old Vegas.

They cleaned it up, first of all. Then they pursued a South Beach branding effort that included the Nikki Beach pool redesign and the addition of some food and beverage options. Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club provided a splash of low-cost celeb appeal and the Las Vegas Mob Experience offers a neat, gee-whiz attraction to round it out.

But on March 18, the resort announced the new face of its property, the person deemed its marquee entertainer. Keep in mind how important this position is and behold what Celine means for Caesars Palace or what Donny & Marie do for the Flamingo.

Who is the Trop putting forth as its Garth? Why, that au courant hipster, Gladys Knight.

Commence head-scratching.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com


Michael said...

While I think the Trop's changes have been amazing, after staying there 2 weeks ago, I have a new theory on why they chose Gladys Knight. Their tourist base doesn't seem to be changing, it's an older crowd, maybe they settled on a performer they didn't have to break the bank on and ultimately would appeal to their base.

It's bizarre and makes no sense with the branding, but Knight would fit with the age group visiting the property. For all of their hype during the remodel and their new target demographic, the crowd still has a large % of senior citizens.

JeffW said...


You ask, "who renames a classic venue temporarily?" I think classic venues are a thing of the past. It has to be contractual, temporary to satisfy the performer's ego. They will begin to change the names of these things monthly if it gets a deal done. Plus, the number of folks who care about Vegas nostalgia appears to be dwindling.

Anonymous said...

This disrespectful, ignorant writer is a nobody attacking the EMPRESS OF SOUL. Gladys Knight is a living legend and one of the greatest entertainers to ever live. her unique voice is just as strong and soulful as it has ever been. This writer should start the head scratching alright, to get the lice out of his head. MAGGOT!!!