$100 million investment will transform the 52-year-old casino and hotel into a “South Miami Beach” theme

The new ownership group at the Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip are investing $100 million to renovate the 52-year-old casino and hotel.

Plans call for a transformation to a “South Miami Beach” theme, said Chief Executive and co-owner Alex Yemenidjian, a former top executive at MGM Grand (now MGM Mirage) and confidante of Kirk Kerkorian.

Yemenidjian, who ran MGM Studios after leaving the casino industry, took over the Tropicana from bankruptcy reorganization earlier this summer in partnership with Onex Corp., a Canadian private equity firm.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the first phase of the makeover will include an overhaul of the employee dining room, construction of a new employee lounge and the renovation of all back-of-house and common areas. This work is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

The second phase, scheduled to begin next spring, includes a convention and exhibition center, a complete hotel makeover and upgraded public spaces.

Next, the restaurants will be renovated. Designs are being completed for a new buffet, Yemenidjian said, and restaurant designs will begin in a few weeks.

“We will be implementing many cosmetic changes in the casino as we go along,” he added, “so the public will certainly begin to notice meaningful changes before the end of the year.”