[toc]MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said he believes Atlantic City has already hit rock bottom, and that brighter days are ahead.
What Murren said about AC
Speaking at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., Murren was there to talk about MGM National Harbor, a $1.4 billion resort and casino opening in Maryland.
During his appearance, he was asked about AC and its future. MGM recently took complete control of Borgata, after previously sharing ownership with Boyd Gaming. Murren, referencing the purchase, said MGM took over Borgata because of an optimistic vision of the future of the resort town:
“I did so with the belief that Atlantic City’s darker days are behind it, and that we’re already stabilizing that market,” Murren said. “And we’re going to see gradual improvement.”
The casino industry has fallen on difficult times, with five casinos closing their doors in recent years. Trump Taj Mahal was the latest casualty.
“I would not have just invested additionally another $800 million into Atlantic City if I did not believe that it could move forward,” Murren said later his comments.
His full statements can be seen here. (The part about AC starts at about the 40-minute mark.)
More on AC’s problems
Despite the comments above, Murren also didn’t paint the rosiest picture for AC.
“That’s not to say everyone’s going to do well there,” Murren said. “Everyone doesn’t own a Borgata. We have by far the highest quality resort there.”
Murren also alluded to the troubles of the city itself, which is going through a takeover by the state.
“We’re going to look to continue to work with the state and the city. The city’s got a tough road ahead of it, but we want to be part of the solution,” Murren said. “And I look forward to working with the state and Atlantic City to continue to move that really important market forward.”
MGM not resting on Borgata’s laurels
Despite Borgata’s position atop the AC gaming market, Murren indicated that the status quo will not persist.
“So we’re going to grow our business,” Murren said. “MGM owns dozens of acres all around Borgata.”
What exactly MGM has planned for the space around Borgata is unknown.