- Associated Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino is expanding by acquiring a nearby hotel and incorporating it into the resort.

Tropicana Entertainment told The Associated Press on Thursday that it acquired The Chelsea, a 330-room boutique hotel, from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Icahn, who is majority owner of Tropicana Entertainment, acquired the hotel in May by purchasing its mortgage for an undisclosed sum. The companies did not say how much Tropicana Entertainment is paying for the Chelsea.

Tropicana plans to open the hotel in August as the “Chelsea Tower at Tropicana,” and will bring the casino’s room total to about 2,730.

“We are pleased with this acquisition and the opportunity to offer our guests more hotel room options on The Boardwalk,” said Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment. “The Chelsea Tower is a great addition to our four existing hotel towers at Tropicana Atlantic City. Guests will be able to enjoy a boutique hotel feel while having full access to all resort options at Tropicana Atlantic City. The capital and support of Icahn Enterprises, our controlling shareholder, has been instrumental in our success, and I appreciate Carl Icahn’s continued support in the execution of our strategy.”

The company plans to link the 20-story Chelsea to the Tropicana via a skyway bridge.

Other plans include food and beverage investments and spa and meeting space at the former Chelsea.

Developer Curtis Bashaw opened The Chelsea in 2008 as a non-gambling boutique hotel designed to capitalize on Atlantic City’s desire to offer more than casinos to visitors. It was a $110 million makeover of two old motels into a retro-chic hotel with a ‘50s and ‘60s theme.

Over the years, he flirted with the idea of offering small-scale gambling at the hotel under a proposal floated in the state Legislature, but it never came to pass.

Among its attractions is a salt-water pool and a spa.

The Chelsea closed down last December.

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Follow Wayne Parry at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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