Tropicana sells River Palms casino in Laughlin to owner of Dotty's taverns for $6.75 million

The company that owns the Dotty's tavern chain is buying the River Palms casino in Laughlin from Tropicana Entertainment Inc. for $6.75 million in cash.

Tropicana announced last week that it plans to lease the casino from the new owner for 90 days before fully releasing the company in September. The new owner, Nevada Restaurant Services Inc., said it plans to close the casino temporarily for renovations and improvements.

"Nevada Restaurant Services is excited about the opportunity to operate the River Palms in the Laughlin market and looks forward to reopening the facility quickly after a temporary closure," said Craig Estey, president of Nevada Restaurant Services.

The riverside casino features a 25-story tower and more than 1,000 rooms and suites. Tropicana Entertainment, which owns eight casinos and resorts in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Missouri, New Jersey and Aruba, said it has been trying to sell the property for some time.

"We are pleased to announce this transaction today," said Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana. "We have had River Palms on the market for some time and upon the closing of this transaction and the discontinuance of our operation of River Palms in September 2014, we will be able to focus our Laughlin efforts exclusively on our flagship property — Tropicana Laughlin."

Laughlin has about 7,300 residents and is located on the Nevada side of the Colorado River, which forms the border with Arizona.

The area has struggled to lure tourists in recent years, hampered by competition from Las Vegas Strip and Indian casinos, as well as an off-the-beaten-path location about 30 miles away from the nearest interstate.

The destination attracted 2 million visitors in 2013, down 60 percent from 5 million about 15 years ago.