LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Pamela Coleman is working her last shift as a bartender at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas.

She took FOX5′s John Huck around the property to explain what she feels as the Las Vegas hotel is set to close on Tuesday.

“It’s just like a death of your mother or your father or your grandparents,” she said. “You think they’ll be around forever and then all of a sudden they’re gone, no turning back.”

For her, the job wasn’t just about the paycheck, but the people. She came to the Tropicana 37 years ago and freely admitted during her job interview that she had no beverage experience.

She was hired on the spot.

With two shifts left, Coleman was grateful to be finishing up beside friends.

“I’m going to be here with two of my best friends. And we’re going to do a closer shift together. I think we’re going to cry a lot. We’re going to cry a lot, because it’s going to be our last shift. And the last we’re going to see this place, because once we walk out the doors, we can’t come back,” she said.

“Thanks for the memories. Thanks for all the years. Thanks for everything you taught me. And thanks for just helping me grow.”

Pamela Coleman, bartender at Tropicana for 37 years

Coleman bears no ill will for what is to come next at the location, and she has ideas about why the A’s stadium is meeting resistance in the community.

“A lot of people don’t want to hear it, because the simple fact is a lot of people don’t like change,” she stated. “Everything has to change; you can’t stay still. You can’t stay stagnant,” she added.

Coleman said that she won’t continue bartending, but instead, will “go out with a bang.”

“I don’t want to continue in bartending; I have an uncle and a cousin that did bartending. And I just want to go out with a bang. And this is my last hurrah. And this is going to be my last go,” she said.

She thinks that the Tropicana should be taken apart, rather than imploded, so people can fully appreciate its legacy.

“I think it’s kind of like losing the Rat Pack. When the Rat Pack is gone, they’re gone. They’re going to lose history. This place is history,” she explained.

When the hotel does come down this fall, she won’t be watching.

“I don’t want to see it,” she said. “It’s just too painful.”

She added that the only thing that will bring her back near the area is a trip to Harry Reid.

“Tropicana is gone, so I don’t have to come down to the Strip anymore,” she said. “Just to come to the airport, that’s it.”

Coleman hopes to sign on with the Clark County School District in their health office. She said if that doesn’t pan out, she plans to retire.


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