Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Breaking News

 

This post is a departure from my usual material about NJ online casino bonuses, but there are major new developments at both Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casinos that surely you will want to know about. From every indication, it won’t be long at all before the number of casinos that are fully up and running in Atlantic City will be back up to nine. Even if you do the bulk of your casino play online, sometime this summer, you will want to visit Atlantic City, check out the new properties for yourself, sample one or more of the dozens of restaurants and bars, and try your luck in the casinos.

Before I share with you this week’s important breaking news with regard to Hard Rock and Ocean Resort, I would like to offer my own hopefully reassuring stance on a matter that concerns many people. Atlantic City seems to be faring much better now with seven casinos than in 2014, when four casinos closed and the town seemed headed on a steady downward spiral. So the question on many people’s minds now is why not leave well enough alone. Is there room in this market for two more casinos? And if so, do Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casinos have what it takes to succeed alongside all of the others?

Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Both Seem to Have What It Takes 

Both of these properties clearly have the financial resources to succeed, and Hard Rock comes to the table with another ace in the hole—many years of experience operating other successful casino resorts all over the world. AC Ocean Walk, owners of Ocean Resort Casino, doesn’t have similar accomplishments on its resume, but it has affiliated with the highly regarded and world renowned Hyatt brand, and that company does have considerable casino experience.

I am also impressed by the extra touches that will be unique to each of these new hotels and casinos  If all they have to offer is a carbon copy of what the seven existing casinos are already offering, it won’t be long before the novelty wears off. Fortunately, I don’t see that happening because the people running the show at both Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casino seem to determined to think out of the box and provide extra amenities that cannot be found elsewhere.

At the same time, the people who will be running Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casinos also need to have a good handle on what their targeted customers want. One of many reasons why the Revel failed was that the people in charge were clueless.

Hard Rock

Hard at Work from the Get-Go

Long before AC Ocean Walk, the company that owns Ocean Resort Casino, emerged on the scene as another new force to be reckoned with, Hard Rock International was already hard at work with their plans to be the next Atlantic City casino. In fact, as soon as the $50 million deal to sell the former Trump Taj Mahl to the owners of Hard Rock International, Seminole Tribe of Florida, became official in March, 2017, it has been full speed ahead. Hard Rock wasted no time getting started on what was going to be a complete transformation of the property inside and out.

Unprecedented Optimism About What the New Casino Hotel Would Do for Atlantic City

The news that Hard Rock is coming to Atlantic City has been met with a degree of excitement and anticipation I haven’t seen in this town in years. But it all makes sense. If a hugely successful international conglomerate that already operates facilities in 75 countries, reports $6 billion in annual revenue, employs over 30,000 people, and schedules more than 35,000 musical acts can’t revitalize Atlantic City, no one can.

True to its word, Hard Rock has been working steadfastly over the past year, not just to renovate the former Trump Taj Mahal, but to remove every last vestige of the defunct casino hotel and and turn the new one into a must see place that’s uniquely its own. Over $500 million has been invested towards making this lofty vision a reality.

In the words of Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, “If we can’t do it right, we’re not going to do it.”

Joe Jingoli, lead developer and property partner believes that “the Hard Rock AC is going to be amazing.”

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, echoing the same sentiments, predicts that the presence of the internationally recognized Hard Rock brand will be a “game changer” for this town that will be “phenomenal.”

Emphasis on Live Music Performances

One way that Hard Rock will clearly set itself apart from other Atlantic City casino hotels is in the increased emphasis on live musical entertainment. Instead of offering concerts on weekends only, there will be live musical entertainment every night of the week. More than 100 acts have already been booked for the resort’s first year, including 60 for this summer.

Ocean Resort Casino

Ocean Resort Casino, Unlike the Revel, Has an Excellent Chance to Succeed

The Revel may have been doomed from day 1, but Ocean Resort Casino seems determined not to repeat the same kinds of mistakes.

What to Expect at Ocean Resort Casino

The casino will offer 2,200 machines and 100 table games, so there will be no shortage of gaming options. However, as the name of the property implies, it is also a full service resort. Therefore, it will also have 1,399 hotel rooms, 16 restaurants, nightclubs, six pools, and a spa. Some of the dining options, like a breakfast eatery called Cereal Town and Wahlburgers (the chain owned by actor Mark Wahlberg’s family), will be unique to Ocean Resort.

Another amenity that will be unique to Ocean Resort in Atlantic City is a Topgolf Swing Suite that will offer the world’s largest virtual golf experience. There will also be a 5,700 seat concert hall, lots of space for retail stores and conventions, and a parking garage for 7,000 vehicles. In addition, and most importantly, now that sports betting has been ruled legal in New Jersey, Ocean Resort Casino is going full speed ahead with its plans to open a state of the art sportsbook in the center of the casino.

AC Ocean Walk CEO Bruce Deifik believes that the failure of the Revel was due to a combination of bad timing, when Atlantic City was still in economic recovery, and not catering to the needs of its customers. However, he is very confident that the impact that Ocean Resort Casino will make will be completely different. He indicates that his firm is “incredibly excited that we were able to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire this tremendous property at a time when Atlantic City is seeing great economic strides.”

Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casino Will Both Open the Same Day–June 28

When Hard Rock indicated its opening date, the excitement around town intensified even more, as the precise date made it clear that the presence of this world renowned entertainment company in Atlantic City wasn’t a pipe dream. It was really happening. But at the same time, there was an obvious new question on many people’s minds. When would Ocean Resort Casino open?. At first, no one seemed to know because other than saying it would open “this summer”, the casino said nothing.

How We Found Out

Even after the big announcement from Hard Rock, for a whole week the same answer was the only one that was forthcoming. Then suddenly a rumor began that Ocean Resort Casino was also going to open on June 28. The rumor proved to be a lot more than speculation, though. On April 25, the headline of The Press of Atlantic City read “Ocean Resort Casino aiming for June 28 opening, same day as Hard Rock.”

Several newly hired Ocean Resort employees reportedly contacted the newspaper and said that they signed an agreement to report to work on June 11 in preparation for a June 28 opening date. On the other hand, Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, City Council President Mary Small, and Atlantic City Department of Licensing and Inspection Dale Finch all replied, when they were contacted, that a June 28 opening date was news to them. Finch also said that he had visited both Hard Rock and Ocean Resort recently and saw “a lot of activity” at both places.

Two weeks later, on Monday, May 7, the rumor that had turned to a roar was no longer a rumor, but a fact. Ocean Resort Casino finally confirmed that its opening date will be Thursday, June 28, too. CEO Frank Leone released a statement that Ocean Resort will be a culmination of all our planning and…a special day for Atlantic City as it turns the page on a new chapter of revitalization.”

Ocean Resort Casino Still Needs a License

The June 28 opening date is contingent, of course, on Ocean Resort Casino receiving a license by that time from the Casino Control Commission and passing all necessary inspections. We will keep you posted as soon as this happens.

Hard Rock Has Been Granted a Casino License

On Wednesday, May 9, the fact that in a little over a month Atlantic City is going to have two new casinos became even more obvious. The Casino Control Commission has granted Hard Rock a casino license.

The decision was unanimous. 23 key executives were granted employee licenses as well, including Hard Rock International CEO Jim Allen and COO Jon Lucas, Property President Matt Harkness, and principal investors Joseph Jingoli and Jack Morris. Commission Chairman James Plousis pointed to the company’s financial stability, long successful history of operating casinos in other locations, and clear commitment to the Atlantic City community as reasons for the decision. The Commission was also impressed by Hard Rock’s obvious interest in bringing people to the resort for a lot more than simply to gamble.

What Special Amenities Will Hard Rock Offer?

If gambling in the casino is your first priority, Hard Rock won’t let you down. The casino floor will have 2,144 slot machines and 120 table games. In addition, patrons at the relocated and expanded (402-seat) Hard Rock Café adjoining the casino floor will have access to 16 bar-top slots. There will not be a poker room.

The hotel part of the complex will have 1,972 rooms, 500 of which are suites, all completely renovated. Guests can also choose from 11 food and beverage outlets.

The entertainment for the opening June 29 and 30 weekend will be Carrie Underwood and Pitbull. 300 nights of shows are being promised in the first year, an Atlantic City first. The biggest acts will be performing at the former Mark Etess Theater, which has been renamed the Hard Rock LIVE Mark Etess Theater. The theater will be capable of accommodating 5,500 guests.

Summary

From all indications, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City will soon be ready to rock n’ roll. And its new neighbor, Ocean Resort Casino, will be making a big wave, too, with all the exciting and innovative options it will have to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Nathan
Barbara Nathan is both a professional writer and casino, poker, and sports betting expert. Originally from NYC, she relocated to Absecon, NJ in 2013 just prior to the official launch of New Jersey regulated online casino and poker gambling. Besides keeping tabs on important developments in the industry from day 1, Barbara is very familiar with what each NJ online casino has to offer. Her comprehensive, unbiased reviews and promotion descriptions provide a valuable service to NJ online casino players. Barbara also enjoys volunteering in the Atlantic City community. She is a certified literacy tutor at the Atlantic City Public Library.

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