Tropicana and Culinary agree on a new contract, but for how long?

14 December 2023

The Tropicana Las Vegas and Culinary Workers Union Local 226 reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract Wednesday covering more than 300 hospitality employees at the Rat Pack-era hotel-casino, but the deal may not last the full term.

The resort’s Strip location is designated as the site of a $1.5 billion baseball stadium for the relocated Oakland Athletics and developers have said the 1,500-room hotel-casino needs to be closed and demolished to allow for construction on the 33,000-seat stadium to begin by April 2025.

A spokeswoman for the union said Thursday that redevelopment and closure language covering job protection, worker recalls, placement in other jobs, health care, seniority and other protections is written into all of the labor organization’s contracts and is part of the Tropicana agreement.

“Included is a service recognition bonus, healthcare and pension contributions for a certain amount of time depending on years of service,” Culinary 226 spokeswoman Bethany Khan said in a text message. 

The Tropicana was the site designated for the new ballpark in SB1, a measure approved by Nevada lawmakers in June during a special legislative session that committed up to $380 million in public financing for the stadium through a combination of tax credits. Gov. Joe Lombardo signed the bill.

The ballpark is planned for 9 acres of the Tropicana’s 35-acre site on the Strip’s south end. Bally’s Corp., which operates the hotel-casino, has said it would demolish the property and build a new development after the stadium is completed in time for the 2028 season.

The Culinary has an agreement with the A’s that will allow the union to organize and negotiate contracts for workers at the stadium.

The A’s canceled a planned unveiling of the stadium renderings and other plans for the project earlier this month after the deaths of two Nevada State Police Highway Patrol troopers. 

Major League Baseball owners last month unanimously approved the team’s relocation. However, development plans, a lease agreement, finalization of bonding, construction timelines and a green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are some of the remaining tasks the team will have to finalize over the next year.

Representatives from Bally’s did not respond to a request for comment.

Tropicana representatives and the negotiators from the Culinary and its affiliated Bartenders Union Local 165, reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday, hours after a similar deal was reached with The Mirage. Employees of both resorts will need to ratify the agreements.

The deals are the first that the unions have reached with independent operators separate from contracts approved in November covering 40,000 workers with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts.

Contract terms were not disclosed. The union said last month’s agreements with MGM, Caesars and Wynn contained a cumulative 32 percent wage increase and language covering workload reductions, daily hotel room cleaning, increased safety protection and expanded technology.

The Culinary is negotiating new contracts with 23 independent Strip, downtown and Northern Nevada resort operators covering 7,700 workers.

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