Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is joining the Atlantic City reinvestment parade, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt business for the seaside resort’s nine gambling parlors.

On Monday, Hard Rock said it will spend a minimum of $20 million on capital improvements. Planned projects include suite renovations, a Boardwalk Starbucks, additional slots and table games, a new dining outlet, and updated beachfront amenities.

“The commitment of these capital dollars from our ownership proves their devotion to enhancing our guest experience, along with the revitalization of Atlantic City and our property which opened after a $500 million renovation less than three years ago,” said Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Hard Rock details $20 million spending plan

According to a news release, the majority of Hard Rock’s investment will go towards renovating 66 Celebrity and 25 Roxy suites. Additionally, all standard hotel rooms are getting new flatscreen TV monitors and LED lighting.

The new Starbucks is located with Boardwalk access adjacent to the Hard Rock Cafe. The Starbucks will open in late May.

Details for a new dining concept will be announced soon. Whatever surprise is in store will be opening this summer, the casino said.

In concert with this year’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project in Atlantic City, Hard Rock will be expanding its Beach Bar. More than 1,000 beach chairs and restrooms will be added to the popular summer spot.

New games will be coming to the Asian and High Limit areas, and the main casino floor.

Finally, Hard Rock will be making programming and sound enhancements to both Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena and Sound Waves. Other improvements will be made to the resort’s meeting/convention spaces and the indoor pool.

Atlantic City casino reinvestment is all the rage in 2021

The multi-million dollar pledge by Hard Rock is the latest in a string of reinvestment announcements at Atlantic City casinos.

The spending spree by AC casinos is a positive sign by an industry still reeling from one of the worst financial years in history. Collectively, AC casino industry profits were down more than 80% in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the ensuing business constraints.

Despite that, AC casino operators are spending big in 2021 and beyond.
Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of three Atlantic City properties, plans to invest $400 million by 2023, including $170 million this year.

Bally’s Atlantic City has earmarked $90 million for upgrades over the next five years.

Ocean Casino Resort just announced a $15 million investment and a new ownership partner. Resorts Casino Hotel and Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa are both close to debuting new dining concepts this spring.

Hard Rock AC will continue to ‘evolve and improve’

Since AC’s casinos reopened last summer, Hard Rock has been a standout performer in the market.

Hard Rock closed out 2020 with a strong fourth quarter. It reported a market-leading 39% increase in year-over-year gross operating profits.

Hard Rock has also posted the largest year-over-year casino win increase in the Atlantic City market for the past five consecutive months.

The casino also took care of its out-of-work employees in 2020. Hard Rock covered health insurance benefits and gave out grocery store gift cards to team members.

When people eventually returned to work, Hard Rock gave out over $1 million in employee bonuses and salary increases.

“Our growth over the past year during unprecedented circumstances speaks to guests’ trust in our property and enjoyment of their experiences, which we will continue to evolve and improve,” Lupo said.

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

David Danzis

About

David Danzis is an award-winning journalist who has covered business, politics, government, education, and sports in New Jersey. Most recently, he wrote about Atlantic City casinos, online gaming, and sports betting for The Press of Atlantic City. David is a graduate of Rutgers University.