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Neon Survey

Description of sign(s)

1. Name: Tropicana Hotel Casino

2. Owner: Aztar

3. Address: 3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

3b. Additional Site Details: The southeast corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Tropicana Boulevard belongs to the Tropicana Hotel Casino. The Tropicana is composed of two high-rise towers, the low-rise wings of rooms, and the casino itself. One tower faces southwest/northeast, while the other tower, further east on the property faces southeast/northwest. The expanse of the corner, near the street is an open concrete pedestrian plaza, with rising planters, a large functioning waterfall, also surrounded by foliage, and various vendors. The porte-cochere connects the plaza to the hotel, with the connecting bridge to the Excalibur, residing on top.

4. Condition: Structure 5 Surface 5 Lighting 5

Notes: See description

5. Form: plyon, fasica

6. Specfic Description: On the north and south faces of the porte-cochere roof line, on a pediment between the sloping blue roof and a row of brass fixtures, large channel letters in the faceted Tropicana font, horizontally spell "Tropicana." The exteriors are painted black wit a blue reflective finishing the interiors. They are filled with blue neon. The ceiling of the porte-cochere holds two distinct features to its credit. The north half is adorned with a glass domed hole through the roof. The interior thickness and recessed lip are covered in a polished metallic surface. Seashells adorn the edge where the lip meets the ceiling as well as on the face of the ledge as well. Teal, red and gold organic lines are floating across the surface in paint. The south half of the porte-cochere is covered with six recessed rectangular areas. Within the giant coffering a field of polished metal squares form a tiled field bordered with incandescent bulbs. In each of the corner intersections a sculpted glass cover, hold a single incandescent bulbs. Each field holds forty or so of these bulbs and their coverings. Two identical pylons flank the courtyard. One of them is on the south side of Tropicana avenue facing east /west, while the other faces north/south on the east side of the street. The pylon is essentially a giant double-sided rectangle with a top section that angles back into space on either side to meet at a peak. The result is a small roof like peak at the top of the sign supporting text on its face. The text however is standing up horizontally at a 90-degree angle. Besides the text logo at the top, the sign possesses an internally lit message cabinet on the bottom of the face, a small LED message center, and another backlit cabinet with a color advertisement for Follies Berger. The message center at the bottom is white plastic with vinyl lettering. The small message center is flanked by three steel poles, the height of the sign and finished to look like bamboo. The horizontal line created by the top edge of the sign is also lined with this false bamboo. The channel lettering at the top are polished metallic, shallow channel letters, which extend in depth all the way back to the face of the roof like form. The faces are filled with incandescent bulbs and bordered in neon. The sides of the sign are treated with a vertical bull nose like shape which runs vertically up the width of the sign. It is pointed wit ha triangular shape on both ends. The shape begins flush with the triangular peak of the signs profile and ends with its point approximately halfway down the height of the bottom message center. The bull nose is faceted with three faces. At the triangular tips, the three faces appear to make the space retain a jewel like shape. The middle face is laden with incandescent bulbs. The rest of the width of the sign is also finished in polished gold metal. The remaining open space on the faces of the cabinet, as well as exposed pieces of the cabinet, are painted a teal color. A border on incandescent bulbs runs around the entire face of the signage. The only signage present on the towers , is the on the first tower, closest to the corner. Running vertically down the west side of the southwest face of the tower, giant metallic channel letters spell "Tropicana" and are lined on the inetriors with a double row of neon. Along the western end of the tower, three, double rows of incandescent bulbs run the entire height of the building. These animate, chasing each other down , simulating a waterfall.

7. Type of Display: neon, incandescent, backlit, LED

8. Media: steel, plastic

9. Non-neon treatments: graphics, paint

10. Animation: chasing, oscillating

Notes: Pylons: The incandescent bulbs inside the channel letters for the logo oscillate, as well as on the vertical width of the pylon. The raceways around the backlit screen chase each other, but it is a double row of incandescent bulbs that chase in opposite directions to each other.
Building: The giant raceways of incandescent bulbs on the northwest corner of the Tropicana's front tower, chase each other from top to bottom, representing a waterfall.

11. Environment: The Tropicana belongs to one of the four major properties which comprise the intersection of Tropicana Ave. and Las Vegas Blvd. The corner is occupied by a plaza and pedestrian element that is also seen in the other neighbors in the intersection as well. The towers loom over the plaza, as is accented by kiosks for patron promotions, and other services such as refreshments. The property is a good example of a property which has adapted over the years to fit and compete with the rapid evolution of Las Vegas.

Artistic Context

1. Manufacturer: Original fascia design ( letters on building are what remain after remodel) by Heath and Company. Pylons: by YESCO

2. Designer: Original prismatic design was submitted by AD-Art's Jack DuBois ,but produced by Raul Rodriguez for heath and Company.

3. Date of Installation: 1978

4. Date(s) of any major redesign/move: The original façade was remodeled, which altered the exterior of the porte- cochere, but the letters remain.

5. Thematic Influence: : The theme surrounding the Tropicana is that of the island paradise. References to the theming, that are evident on the exterior, are the shape and style of the text utilized in the various signage as well as those shapes being carried over into the designs other architectural elements. The blue incandescent bulbs that chase each other down the face of the building obviously reference a waterfall. Juxtaposed to the aesthetic, actual water elements have been incorporated into the front façade also. The angular design of the text is reminiscent of prism like faceted fonts is reminiscent many aspects dealing with Las Vegas, but fit more into the theme of the property than Vegas. The prismatic design is also incorporated into the design of the actual pylon also. The edges of the vertical length of the pylon are faceted and the triangular end seen on the fonts can be found elsewhere on the pylon. Not only is this shape evident with the pylon but on the fascia of the neighboring façade. The peaked rooflines of the village like facade also mirror this shape, being accented by the incandescent bulbs that line the edges. The text are reminiscent of something tropical, the shape somehow represents something rustic and wooden, even a tiki-like flavor.

6. Artistic Significance: n/a

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Last modified Monday, 05-Apr-2010 18:19:02 UTC