Developers AC Ocean Walk, who bought the failed $2.4 billion Revel Hotel and Casino at the north end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk for $200 million in January 2018, brought the team hired to run the re-branded casino resort together Monday to announce the grand opening date.
AC Ocean Walk Chairman Bruce Deifik thanked them all:
“We are thrilled to share this exciting news with you and would like to thank each and every one of you for being a part of the Ocean Resort Casino extended family and our debut in Atlantic City. It was important for us to share this news with you directly, as the team here at Ocean, both as part of our family and as a part of the wonderful community that is Atlantic City that will continue to play an integral role in our future success. For that, we are extremely grateful to each of you.”
Two casinos, one grand opening day
June 28, of course, is the same day the former Trump Taj Mahal will officially reopen as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
In March 2017, Hard Rock International partnered with some local developers to buy the closed $1.2 billion Trump Taj Mahal for just $50 million. They pledged to spend $375 million renovating and re-branding before opening it as Hard Rock Atlantic City on Memorial Day weekend 2018.
Renovation costs quickly jumped to $500 million, and Hard Rock AC pushed the opening date to summer 2018. In April, the organization announced the casino resort would officially open June 28.
Now, Atlantic City’s two newest casinos, having risen from the ashes of two closed casinos in NJ, will go head to head from the day they open the doors.
A property refresh at Ocean Resort Casino
Since January, the 6.4-million-square-foot Ocean Resort Casino has been in the middle of what developers are calling “a property refresh.”
The project includes enough work in renovations and improvements that Ocean Resort Casino is now being referred to as a $3 billion property.
Additionally, Ocean Resort is distancing itself from the former Revel by instituting a number of new policies, procedures, and ease of access features aimed at improving the guest experience.
According to AC Ocean Walk, many of these new policies and procedures were born out of complaints made by former Revel clientele.
Ocean Resort Casino CEO Frank Leone says the grand reopening will be a special day for Atlantic City. Plus, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in the property’s revitalization:
“We look forward to June 28 as the culmination of all of our planning and know that this will be a special day for Atlantic City as it turns the page on a new chapter of revitalization. Everyone has been so incredibly positive and supportive of the changes that have been discussed relative to the property and our team is committed to providing a tremendous customer experience for all of our guests. We cannot wait to reveal what we have been working on for them.”
From Revel to Ocean Resort Casino
Revel’s construction was slowed down substantially by financial issues and labor disputes. The luxury casino resort opened its doors on April 2, 2012. However, it went bankrupt and closed them a little over two years later in September 2014.
In April 2015, a Florida developer named Glenn Straub bought the property out of bankruptcy for just $82 million. He said he wanted to re-brand the property as TEN and reopen. However, he missed a number of reopening dates over the next two years, all while battling with state regulators over casino licensing issues.
Finally, Straub sold Revel to AC Ocean Walk in January 2018 for $200 million. AC Ocean Walk said it was re-branding the property as Ocean Resort Casino. Plus, it too hoped to reopen in the summer of 2018.
When it finally does open on June 28, it will do so with a 1,399-room hotel run by Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. The revitalized property will also include a 138,000-square-foot casino plus 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting and convention space. There will also be an additional 90,000 square feet of flexible outdoor special event space.
Ocean Resort Casino will feature six swimming pools, including a salt-water pool and an ocean-facing sun deck with luxury cabanas.
The property will open with no less than 16 different dining options. This includes everything from fine dining to casual eateries, from the Ocean Buffet to well-known brands such as Walhburgers.
A focus on the customer experience
Ocean Resort Casino says it will continue to focus on the customer experience. That means featuring a wide variety of entertainment options. This includes the largest-ever Topgolf Swing Suite with 11 golfing bays and the renovated 5,500 seat Ovation Hall.
Ocean Resort Casino also plans to open up a best-in-class sportsbook, but only after legal sports betting gets the go-ahead in New Jersey.
Additionally, the property will feature 70,000 square feet of retail space and a 32,000-square-foot Hyatt exhale fitness and spa location.
Deifik believes the public is going to love the changes they’ve made:
“Our team has been working diligently since we acquired the property in January and have put a great deal of time and effort into creating a truly unique and memorable destination guest experience. We think people will love what we have created through our partnerships with well-known brands such as Hyatt, Topgolf, Walhburgers and others that offer the best in quality dining, entertainment and hospitality.”