Old Parking Garage, West Tower Reopen At Tropicana

ATLANTIC CITY – Given a temporary green light. Hundreds of Tropicana Casino and Resort employees and customers scattered through the West Tower hotel and the selfpark garage Saturday and Sunday to retrieve their cars and belongings.

The buildings had been closed since Thursday morning, when a second Tropicana parking garage being built next door collapsed. The accident killed four workers, injured 20 others and left a l00-foot concrete wall swaying in the shadow of theWest Tower and existing garage.

West Tower guests were forced to evacuate immediately and the existing garage was closed with nearly 800 vehicles inside.

“We have about 150 cars still in the garage, a mix of guest and employee vehicles, but all rooms have been cleared out by guests accompanied by personnel, or where guests could not come back we retrieved the belongings ourselves with their permission, ” Tropicana spokeswoman Maureen Siman said Monday.

“It’s been quite an operation, just tracking and contacting the guests. First, getting them home last week, then once we got them home, contacting them on Saturday night an Sunday to get them to come back and get their belongings,” she said.

Tropicana is shipping items to those who could not return, Siman said.

Authorities cannot say when the West Tower and existing garage might reopen, she said. All casino hotel functions are operating as usual, except parking. Valet service is available – and busy, Siman said – but self-park guests are being directed by employees to various surface lots within a short walk of the casino.

“Our guests have been completely understanding and supportive and have offered their condolences to the families (of the four construction workers killed),” she said.

Tropicana’s top executives resort operations President Dennis Gomes and property President Pamela Popielarski- attended the funeral of Rabert Tartaglio Jr. on Sunday night and were to attend the viewing of Scott Pietrosante on Monday night, Siman said.

“We have attempted to reach out to the families to offer our assistance, ~ she said. She declined to be more specific.

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