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US – Hard Rock to spend $375m on Taj Mahal overhaul

By - 7 April 2017

Hard Rock International has now officially announced the completed acquisition as well as unveiled plans for the launch and significant redevelopment of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

Dignitaries including Governor Chris Christie, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, as well as local representatives, gathered to learn more about the momentous opportunity the project will bring to Atlantic City.

The former Taj Mahal building will undergo an all-encompassing $375m renovation and reopen in the summer of 2018. The upcoming Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is situated on 17-acres of prime Boardwalk real estate, offering vast views of the city and Atlantic Ocean.

Impacting local and regional economies, as well as contributing to the revitalization of Atlantic City, the partnership between Hard Rock International and the Morris and Jingoli families will create more than 1,000 jobs during construction and 3,000 permanent jobs. Since the transaction on March 31, Hard Rock has already hired 23 employees as it sets out to bring the once iconic property back to life.

Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International, said: “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. 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. Atlantic City, no doubt, has had some challenging times. I think that it’s very important to understand that it’s still the second biggest gaming market in the United States.”
“With the Hard Rock brand and its ability to attract 100 million people on an annual basis we very confident that we can grow the market,” he added. “I can assure you our marketing plans are not just to take the customers from the existing properties.”

“It makes sense to do business in Atlantic City. This doesn’t mean just bringing in some new memorabilia. It means a complete renovation of all the guest rooms, it mean all new furniture. It means a complete redesign of the casino floor to create a true entertainment destination and not just a gambling destination. It means all new restaurants; it means 7,000 entertainment seats in this facility. We are not a company that is of the mindset that you only do entertainment on a Saturday night. If we can’t do it right, we’re not going to do it.”

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will offer a range of gaming opportunities with 2,400 slots and 130 table games. Additionally, the casino will boast an entirely redesigned interior with first-class food and beverage concepts. Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City will move to a new 400-seat venue, including an improved stage and central location within the property featuring beach access. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will become the premier entertainment destination with live music, sporting events, conferences and shows with two separate arenas offering more than 7,000 seats total.
The entrance of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be completely reimagined, beginning with updating the existing facades along Pacific Avenue, at the resort entry, porte cochére and along the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. Upon arrival, guests will enjoy a new check in experience and lobby lounge. Guestrooms and suites will undergo a complete renovation and redesign to offer lavishly appointed rooms in a setting that is anything but uptight. Meeting space will be updated to accommodate both large conventions and smaller events.

A full-service spa will feature relaxing and recharging treatments, and The Sound of Your Stay music amenity program will offer complimentary in-room Fender guitar checkouts. With Hard Rock International’s standing as curators of the world’s largest and most priceless music memorabilia collection, the property’s design will feature museum-like displays adorning the walls. Memorabilia for the hotel will be carefully hand-selected with a focus on contemporary musicians and artists who call New Jersey home.

Hard Rock bought the casino at the start of March from billionaire investor Carl Icahn who had closed the venue following a dispute with workers’ union group Unite Here Local 54.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said: “This is an extraordinary brand that is coming here to Atlantic City. The investment is great news for the city and the state. We have confidence Hard Rock will do this in the right way and to take a property that has a great tradition in this city and create an absolutely new tradition for the people of Atlantic City and the people who come here”
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian added: “It shows that Atlantic City is moving forward. We are not giving up on casinos. And when you hear what Hard Rock has to offer, it is going to be a lot more than a casino. 2018 is going to be a great year for us.”

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