Tropicana Evansville

Tropicana Evansville is a riverboat casino in downtown Evansville, Indiana, owned and operated by Tropicana Entertainment. Originally named Casino Aztar, it was opened by Aztar Corporation in 1995 as the state’s first casino.

The main entertainment facility consists of a 2,700 passenger riverboat casino, a 250-room hotel, a 1,660 vehicle parking garage, and pavilion housing pre-boarding facilities, retail shops, restaurants, and lounge area. A new entertainment district with a 100-room boutique hotel and additional restaurants opened in late 2006.

In 2005, the casino generated $137 million in revenue and $41 million in profits. The latest expansion is expected to generate additional revenue gains for the property and help it compete with increasing competition.

The Vessel

The actual casino boat, called “City of Evansville”, is the state of Indiana’s first gaming riverboat under legislation passed in 1993. It opened to the public in 1995. Built by Jeffboat in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the boat is a replica of the historic Robert E. Lee racing sidewheel steamboat crafted nearly 130 years ago. Jeffboat deployed 200 workers and spent over twelve months constructing the vessel. The exterior was designed by RA Stern, Inc. to appear as if the boat is straight from the Civil War era; the interior, designed by Morris & Brown Architects, Ltd., is purely Las Vegas glamor.

The boat is 310 ft (94 m) long by 70 ft (21 m) wide, has a depth of 14 ft (4.3 m) by 6 in (150 mm) and stands 80 ft (24 m) above water level (including stacks). It weighs 1,589 tons and has a maximum draft of 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) There is a total of 47,863 sq ft (4,446.6 m2) of public space.

The Hotels

Casino Aztar Hotel

The Casino Aztar Hotel opened its doors on December 17, 1996. Overlooking the casino and the Ohio River, the hotel has 250 guest room and suites; meeting, conference and banquet facilities; and a fitness room. The hotel also offers 10 suites, ranging from two and three room suites. Each suite features a whirlpool bath, sofa sleeper, wet bar, and mini-bar.

Le Merigot

Le Merigot, which opened its doors on December 28, 2006, was designed by Los Angeles-based interior designer Laurence Lee. This 100-room boutique hotel features Italian bed linens, LCD flat screen televisions in both bedroom and bath, in-room high speed Internet access, MP3 input, and glass-enclosed showers with multi-unit body sprays and overhead rain maker showerheads. The suites at Le Merigot offer guests a living and dining room area, master bedroom, and oversized bath complete with a soaking tub.

Riverfront Pavilion

The property’s Riverfront Pavilion is designed to reflect the turn-of-the-century charm of downtown Evansville. The interior feature building facades inspired by buildings that in the early 1900s graced Evansville’s downtown riverfront. These facades were constructed from materials indigenous to this area. The street scapes offer a multitude of textures and colors with a “park-like” central theme. This complex houses a variety of dining and entertainment options. An enclosed walkway links the pavilion to a 250-room hotel, complete with meeting and banquet facilities. A seven-story parking garage offers over 1,600 sheltered parking spaces with easy access to the casino, hotel, and pavilion.

The District

The Downtown Waterfront Entertainment District is a $40 million expansion, opened in 2006. The district includes a 100-room boutique hotel and a multi-venu entertainment facility centered around a riverfront park. Jillian’s Billiards Club and Ri Ra Irish Pub opened to the public on September 15, 2006. The Le Merigot Hotel and Blush Ultralounge and Tapas Bar opened on December 28, 2006.The complex is located next to the existing hotel and across from the casino boat.

Following an unsuccessful run of business by Jillian’s, it has since gone out of business and was replaced by Stoney’s Rockin’ Country Bar in 2011. Stoney’s Rockin’ Country Bar went out of business in December 2012. Boogie Nights, a club and restaurant with a 1970s and 1980s theme entered the space in 2013.

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