The Tropicana – Security focused or just looking to make a buck?

The Quarter
The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Atlantic City, NJ - Image via Wikipedia

During my recent trip to Atlantic City, which you may have read about in my post “Three Cheers for Beers“, my friends and I stayed at the Tropicana Casino and Resort. The Tropicana is a Havana themed casino and resort in the Downbeach section of Atlantic City. According to Wikipedia, “The Tropicana is one of the largest hotels in New Jersey with 2,129 rooms.” The Tropicana’s website boasts that their casino contains 2,800 slot machines, a poker club that features 35 tables, the Jade Palace which has the “most exciting and authentic Asian games that Atlantic City has to offer”, and of course classic table games including Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps.

There are a few reasons we like staying at the Tropicana:

  • The Tropicana has 20 different dining facilities. There is something for every palate and every budget.
  • The Tropicana is home to The Quarter, which houses 30 different shops in which you can spend your gambling winnings.
  • Unlike Borgata and Harrah’s, the Tropicana is actually on the boardwalk so it does not require motor transportation to get to other casinos.
  • If its nice out, it is a healthy walk to the Pier Shops, the Outlets, or the AC Convention Center. (If it is cold, you aren’t going to like the walk!)
  • Foursquare Check in specials!
The Tropicana from the boardwalk

Now here was our issue on this last visit…

Upon check in, I was informed that we would have to pay an extra $25 fee  since our reservation was for two people and we were checking in with three. I was told that this was a new policy effective during the last two weeks and was to cover the cost of the additional key card. When we told her that we could survive on two keys, we were told we each had to have a key in order to be allowed in to the elevator banks by security. I totally understand why the hotel is doing this. It is an added security measure. It prevents patrons from causing dangerous conditions by squeezing 10 people in to a room in tended for four. It also insures a positive experience for all guests staying in the hotel; I doubt most patrons want to stay next to an “overcrowded” room when I am trying to get some rest.

There were two things that bothered me about this new policy:

  • Why aren’t key cards in alignment with number of people a room can hold? Technically, a room with two queen beds can hold 4 people (two to a bed) so they should be alloted 4 cards. A room with one King bed should be alloted 2 key cards.
  • I made my reservation in January, why wouldn’t I have either been alerted to the policy change, or grandfathered in due to large amount of time that had passed between making my reservation and my actual stay?

My issue is, if the Tropicana is so concerned about the safety and security of their patrons why did the following happen during our stay:

  • There was an intoxicated gentleman sleeping on the floor next to the Havana Tower check-in line. We were on-line for about 10 minutes and he was there the whole time. One security guard tried to wake him and a few minutes after three other members of the hotel staff came over to speak to the man, but he did not actually get off the floor. When we had checked in and were headed up stairs, the man in question was still sitting on the floor of the lobby
  • During our 48 hour stay, we were never asked to present our key cards upon entering the Havana Tower elevator bank at any time. I was not asked to present my key card when using the hotel’s gym facility. (Yup, I stayed on track with a Saturday morning work out!). In addition, none of us were asked to present our key card or any means of identification when charging breakfast to our room.

If you know anything about me, you know I am not just going to complain about this situation here on my blog; I take action! Monday morning, I called the front desk to discuss not only the $25 fee, but also these observations about the security of the hotel. The woman I was connected to at the front desk put me on the phone with her manager who took notes regarding the safety concerns I brought to her attention, but also refunded the $25 fee for both nights. The customer service that was provided by this manager over the phone, was better than any I received while staying in the hotel.  I hope the Tropicana is seriously looking in to these things, as well as additional ways to make the hotel a safer place and isn’t just squeezing their patrons for extra cash.

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