Las Vegas is always in some form of evolution or transformation. Sometimes those cycles are busier than others. Right now three properties are in the midst of a transition that will likely see major changes: Tropicana, Cosmopolitan and Mirage.
As part of my latest Vegas trip, I stayed at all three with the intention of seeing what they’re like today, so I can at some point evaluate what the net results of the transformation will be.
Here are some thoughts about each stay from my trip.
I’ve stayed at MGM properties every time I’ve visited Vegas since my first trip, but until this visit I had never stayed at Mirage. I had played at the casino a few times before, and liked it well enough.
It’s the place I earned Pearl for the first time, in fact, having walked across the street from the Wynn to do so when I realized how close I was to reaching it.
So I was definitely bullish about staying there, and wasn’t disappointed. The Mirage rooms feel like a modern mid-tier MGM property room, clean and modern. The area near the front door is more spacious than I’m used to in a hotel, I think to the detriment of a smaller than normal bathroom.
The bed was comfortable and offered good rest. The hotel elevators are right near the casino and a shopping area, so even though the property is a good size it did not feel that hard to get around or require any lengthy walks, except to the parking garage due to the out and back sort of pathway structure.
I ate at Pantry for breakfast and had a really good meal. They had warmed mini cinnamon donuts that really hit the spot along with more standard breakfast fare like omelets and such.
The casino floor felt like a traditional 2022 MGM casino floor – with a lot of machine replacement happening and organization of their games into pods, it didn’t have much of a distinct casino vibe in my mind.
Before the pandemic casinos like Mirage had more older games and a more unique mix from place to place. That said, you’ll find a lot of the popular modern games so if you’re into that it’s a good place to visit.
Mirage is being acquired by Hard Rock and they’ve been making waves about a sizable transition as they update the property to be a Hard Rock casino. Given the investments they made in Atlantic City, and their Tampa and Hollywood, Florida properties, I would expect significant updates.
Similar to Mirage, I’ve played at Tropicana a few times over the years, but never stayed there. I remedied that this trip and ultimately was positively surprised by what I found.
I didn’t have high expectations for Tropicana’s rooms because I know it’s an older property and the rooms hadn’t been touched in a bit. Given the age of the rooms, I found my room to be in quite good shape and still looked pretty good.
I like the way the windows have unique slats for letting the light in, befitting the theme and offering something a bit different. The room was on the large side, which I wasn’t expecting, and had a good set of furniture to fill out the room nicely.
The bathroom was fine, with a vent that sounded and felt old, not unusual for older properties.
The casino floor was much as I remember it, in part because games that were on that floor a number of years ago are still there. They have some of the latest games and they have games that have clearly been on their floor a long time. This is a bit more rare on the strip than it used to be, so if that is a draw for you that may give you reason to at least play there, if not stay there.
The casino floor isn’t that big, so you’ll probably find yourself scraping for games to play after awhile, but the selection within it is at least pretty diverse.
Tropicana is set to be acquired by Bally’s, who just recently unveiled a series of investments to the previously tired Bally’s Atlantic City. While they didn’t put the level of investment that Hard Rock did transforming the former Taj Mahal, they clearly made investments where an impact would be felt, so I would expect targeted investments to Tropicana after purchase.
By comparison to the other two, Cosmopolitan is one of the newer resort properties on the strip, which in recent years has seen some steady evolution and investment. This is not a property in dire need of a transformation, and it sounds like MGM will not rock the boat too much at first (which tends to be how they handle things anyway).
My room at Cosmopolitan was excellent, and on the smaller end of the unusual room types that they have (although smaller is relative – this was still a very big room!). I was upgraded by the front desk rep who noted my birthday coming up and that it was my first stay, and I was very happy with the room I ended up with.
The balconies at Cosmopolitan are a unique feature of their hotel, and I definitely enjoyed making use of it (including as I wrote this piece). Separate living and sleeping areas, as well as an oversized bathroom, really made this stay stand out from the crowd.
Cosmopolitan doesn’t have to do much to be a draw given how distinctive it is in just about every way, from the rooms to the various food venues to the casino floor, which has an unusual number of new games as well as very specific older games with a fan base. This is something MGM isn’t particularly good at (see my notes about the Mirage casino floor above) so hopefully they don’t mess that part of things up.
Overall, each property had something going for it already, and hopefully new ownership will enhance those aspects while continuing to evolve – it is Vegas after all!