Tropicana Entertainment sees its profits improve

Tropicana Entertainment

The Tropicana Laughlin.

Hotel-casino operator Tropicana Entertainment Inc. of Las Vegas on Wednesday posted a third quarter profit, even as its Nevada properties continued to struggle through the recession.

Tropicana Entertainment, which has two properties in Laughlin and one in Lake Tahoe, among other properties around the country, said it earned $14.9 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30 vs. a profit in the year-ago quarter of $1.5 million.

Net revenue of $175.4 million was down from $176.15 million.

The profit increased as operating costs fell from $161 million to $148 million.

The company, controlled by investor Carl Icahn, said its Nevada properties generated net revenue in the quarter of $33.2 million, down from $34.7 million in the 2010 quarter.

The company’s Nevada properties are the Tropicana Laughlin, River Palms in Laughlin and the MontBleu in Lake Tahoe. (The Las Vegas Tropicana is owned by a different investor group).

Tropicana Entertainment said the Nevada properties endured a 16 percent decline in slot machine volumes and a 7.5 percent decline in table game volumes during the quarter.

“Net revenues and volumes in the West region continue to be negatively impacted by the deterioration of casino revenue in the Laughlin market resulting from the continuing poor economic conditions and reduced consumer discretionary spending,” Tropicana said in its quarterly report, adding that net revenue for the Laughlin properties fell $1.5 million on a year-over-year basis.

Elsewhere around the country, Tropicana Entertainment said, net revenue was steady at the Tropicana Atlantic City at $86 million during the quarter and at Casino Aztar in Evansville, Ind., at $31.6 million. It increased at casinos in Louisiana, Mississippi and Aruba from $23.6 million to $24.5 million.

Hurricane Irene, which caused a mandatory closure of all Atlantic City casinos in August for three days, is estimated to have cost the Atlantic City Tropicana some $5.4 million in net revenue, the company said.