If you have not been to Atlantic City lately, you might expect the legendary resort's luck to end.
Five casinos – including the once legendary Trump Taj Mahal and a multi-billion dollar flop called Revel, which took just over two years – shut down and left seven left. The city flirted with bankruptcy in the midst of the ongoing recession and unprecedented competition from casinos in neighboring states.
But like a player whose cards are suddenly hot, 40 years ago, right after voters legalized gambling, Atlantic City could be on the verge of reinventing itself.
Some Big Openings
This week, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has revealed a $ 500 million entertainment-focused re-staging of the old Taj Mahal with a 60 foot guitar of the guests. Its neighbor, Ocean Retreat, a Hyatt-affiliated estate that includes a hotel, casino, and luxury spa, is taking over the green glass glass tower that once housed Revel.
The city is home to the city's premier casino hotel. The Borgata – celebrates its 15th anniversary with a high profile list of entertainers and special events. In the meantime, competing casinos are building new restaurants, renovating guest rooms, and introducing new attractions, such as sports betting, which are now allowed under a change in state law. Plus, the city itself, while still cheesy, offers much more than just the casino floor, from beach concerts to shopping at the upscale Tanger Outlets to a giant ferris wheel at the Steel Pier.
Hard Rock and Ocean Resort "are committed to providing guests with experiences beyond the classic hotel model," said Rummy Pandit, managing director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University.
According to Pandit, The University also plays on Atlantic City by building a new campus at the southern end of the promenade. AC "continues to evolve into a multi-faceted destination."
As always, one of the most convincing reasons to visit AC is also the most accessible – the Atlantic Ocean and the free beaches of the city.
Hard Rock focuses on the Star Power
On Hard Rock are the few remaining characters of the over-the-top purple scene and gold exce ss of the former Taj Mahal are a few pillars near where the property connects to the Steel Pier. Elsewhere, Hard Rock is able to pour rock-and-roll reels of music artifacts and memorabilia, including a signed New Jersey guitar, Jon Bon Jovi, a Michael Jackson-worn Swarovski crystal glove, John Lennon's handwritten original text "Imagine" and an outfit of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" tour.
The Hard Rock promises to program entertainment 365 days a year, from the opening scene of Carrie Underwood, Pitbull and Florida Georgia Line, to the artists among 365 live banners (including alumni for "American Idol", "The Voice" and "America's Got Talent") to a comedy club hosted by Howie Mandel, in which the comedian on 3./4. July will be a special film.
Along with a 400-seat version of his signature Hard Rock Café, the property will feature nearly 20 other food and beverage spots, including Italian concept Il Mulino, upscale seafood restaurant Rat Oak Fish, the sugar confectionery shop and two p laces which used to be in Taj – an outpost of the famous White House Sub Shop and Robert's Steakhouse.
Spa at Ocean Resort
Nearby is the gleaming glass facade of the Ocean Resort It looks unlike Revel, a $ 2 billion development that went down in 2014 is. Inside, the new owner has tried to remedy a major design flaw by opening the casino floor, taking advantage of the panoramic views. Floor-to-ceiling windows in all 1,399 guest rooms and suites.
The property will house nine restaurants, including several in the former Revel: from the ice king Jose Garces, the upscale tapas restaurant Amada and casual Mexico City-typical street food distrito, and American Cut, an upscale steakhouse by Marc Forgione of New York City ,
The Ocean Resort also features a 40,000 square foot Exhale Spa with 31 treatment rooms and a Co-Ed social a with a salt cave, heated pool, steam room and bar. Other amenities include a top golf swing 11-berth suite, 5,500-seat Arena, 70,000 square feet of retail space and HQ2, a reboot of the popular HQ nightclub Revel.
Rival Casinos Take Note
Meanwhile, Borgata, the city's highest casino, is celebrating its 15th year with a series of A-list shows, including Cher, Barry Manilow, Dave Chappelle, Britney Spears and Stevie Wonder, along with a 10-night sale by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. There will also be special events with celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Michael Symon.
Other casinos are also investing in the future: Resorts – the first casino opened in 1978 and now hosted by Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville – marks its 40th year with the completion of $ 100 million in guest rooms and other renovations; Tropicana Atlantic City has unveiled its Chelsea Tower, a recently acquired nearby non-casino hotel with several new restaurants; and Caesars and his sibling Harrahs have unveiled new bars and restaurants – the latter property now has the first Gordon Ramsay steak in the area.
Several casinos have also developed supporters for their night clubs and bring top DJs to places like Haven at the Golden Nugget, Premier in the Borgata and The Pool in Harrah's. New this season is the independently operated beer garden, a beer garden near the Tropicana, which complements several beach bars of the casinos.
Old school, new school
From the promenade, AC still boasts of some old school destinations that are worth it to get out of the vicinity of the next blackjack table. These include the popular dive at Tony's Baltimore Grill, which is known for its pizza and a 24-hour bar; the raised knife and the fork; and the family-owned Dock's Oyster House, which dates to 1897.
Recent additions to the city include the Iron Room's bar-restaurant, which has about 425 whiskeys, and a number of developments along a stretch of Tennessee Avenue near the city's Irish Pub. The latter include the MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar, a "bean-tie" shop, and The Leadership Studio, a yoga facility with a café, a beer hall and a live music venue that will open in the fall.
For local boosters like Pandit, the combination of old and new from AC adds the "complete package" and hopes that it will give people a reason to visit – and stay – for a weekend or longer.
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