Boardwalk empire: Hard Rock completes Taj Mahal purchase

Boardwalk empire: Hard Rock completes Taj Mahal purchase

Monday, April 10, 2017

Atlantic City is already celebrating a momentous month, as Hard Rock International completes the purchase of the former Trump Taj Mahal and New Jersey’s gaming regular confirms a stabilisation of the resort city’s casino revenues.

Just one month after unveiling plans to acquire the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, Hard Rock International has completed the purchase of the resort for an undisclosed sum.

The group said it is planning a “significant redevelopment” of the facility, which opened in 1990 and became the latest in a string of casinos to close its doors in October last year.

On April 6, dignitaries including Atlantic City Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Don Guardian were briefed by executives about the newly-named Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

According to the operator, the former Taj Mahal building will undergo an all-encompassing $375 million renovation and reopen in summer 2018.

Situated on 17-acres of prime Boardwalk real estate, the new casino will offer 2,400 slots and 130 table games. It will feature an entirely redesigned interior with numerous food and beverage options, live music, sporting events, conferences and shows with two arenas.

“From world-renowned music events to innovative dining concepts, we’re excited to bring the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino experience to the Atlantic City boardwalk – which has been home to our Hard Rock Cafe for more than 20 years,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International.

“Our commitment to Atlantic City has never been stronger and we look forward to being a catalyst for further growth and development of the area.”  

The news of Hard Rock’s purchase of the Taj Mahal came as New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that gross operating profit for Atlantic City’s gaming industry increased by 7.3% to $587.4 million in 2016.

Four of the resort city’s seven casinos turned a profit last year. The Borgata Casino led the way, with earnings for the facility up 13% to $244.7 million.

Analysts said the figures provide new evidence that Atlantic City’s casino industry is stabilising after a troublesome three-year period in which five of its 12 casinos shut down.

Totally Gaming says: The protracted decline of Atlantic City’s casino industry has been well documented over recent years, and so news of a return to growth will be welcomed by both investors and the city’s residents. While it’s perhaps too early to tell whether this positive trend will continue in 2017, Hard Rock has made clear its intention to be part of the revitalisation of Atlantic City – and the commitment of an established operator whose brand has mass appeal is exactly what the Boardwalk needs.

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