When Icahn officials finalized the acquisition of former The Aruban Resort properties for $20 million they announced major investments. They didn’t put a number on it, as they are waiting on their architects and engineers to arrive in Aruba to make a complete assessment and offer management a full report.
I followed the press conference they offered after the acquisition and someone asked if they were planning to do something about the name. The Icahn official couldn’t answer the question with certainty – he’s not the decision maker – but suggested it might become Tropicana Aruba Beach Resort & Casino.
Take it from me, they are going to change the name. The brand “The Aruban Resort” has been damaged too much. They need to start from scratch. Plus, on several occasions I’ve said that the name is too generic to really compete. All resorts on the island are “Aruban” resorts.
Tropicana Aruba? NOTE: Photoshopped image!
Tropicana Aruba Beach Resort & Casino could very well become the new name for this property. Just this year Ichan Partners acquired Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey and it could fit into a strategy of a strong – international – brand. All the properties were acquired out of bankruptcy through auctions.
The name “Tropicana” fits perfectly with this Caribbean resort and together with major renovations The Aruban might become a major player going forward. Certainly current timeshare owners will benefit from the renovations in the resale market on the long term.
Currently there are two casino buildings. Key Largo Casino and former Royal Cabana Casino. I don’t think Key Largo is going to be used as a casino when all renovations are completed. Actually I think it will be transformed back into a restaurant. Previously is functioned separately as a restaurant (Outback Steak House), activities desk, child care center and storage.
Royal Cabana Casino (Tropicana Casino?) is going to be the main attraction. This is a huge building with lots of potential and location is best to none. The closest casino rival is old Alhambra Casino near Divi properties or unaccessible Casablanca Casino in The Westin. Bear in mind most acquisitions Icahn Partners did recently all included the casino business. Together with timeshare sales, the casino business are going to be the two most important revenue sources for Icahn partners. The hotel operation seems secondary.
Do you know what name the prestigious ballroom in Royal Cabana Casino had? Tropicana Showroom. FYI. Below some pictures I took yesterday.
Update: The Aruban Resort has been renamed online Tropicana Aruba Resort and Casino. As per October 2010 the titles of The Aruban Resort are still intact.
The Aruban Resort today
The Aruban Resort with a piece of Key Largo Casino
The Aruban and the casino building
The Aruban with Key Largo Casino near main road
Defunct Key Largo Casino
Former Key Largo Casino Bar & Restaurant
Massive building former Royal Cabana Casino
Royal Cabana Casino and Key Largo Casino in the right coner