Icahn’s Tropicana Entertainment sues Vegas Strip hotel over name

LAS VEGAS Carl Icahn’s Tropicana Entertainment Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort on the Strip, claiming the 52-year-old property is using the trademarked name illegally.

The 1,772-key Tropicana Las Vegas is controlled by Onex Corp., but until 2008 it was the namesake of Tropicana Entertainment LLC, which Icahn rescued from bankruptcy and slightly renamed after the Strip resort was separately sold off.

Icahn’s Las Vegas-based company last week filed suit in Delaware bankruptcy court, alleging that Tropicana Las Vegas is illegally using the Tropicana name for free. Icahn’s company is seeking control of all of Tropicana Entertainment’s former names and trademarks, which were valued in 2007 at about US$200 million.

Tropicana Entertainment now controls Tropicana Atlantic City and three other casino resorts in Nevada—Tropicana Laughlin, River Palms Hotel and Casino and MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa. A separate Icahn-backed company owns the unfinished Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

Tropicana Las Vegas has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

Tropicana Entertainment has previously proposed that Tropicana Las Vegas pay US$10 million to license the name for five years; Onex rejected that offer.

In a court filing earlier this summer, attorneys for Tropicana Las Vegas argued that the resort retains the rights to the name despite splitting from its parent company. “At all times it was understood and agreed by Tropicana Las Vegas and each person or entity owning Tropicana Las Vegas that, despite changes in ownership, Tropicana Las Vegas would continue to have the right to the use of its own name,” the court filing said.