[toc]Hard Rock International is going to spend nearly $400 million to transform the former Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and it will generate thousands of permanent jobs.
That was the promise from Hard Rock executives on Wednesday on the announcement of plans for the currently shuttered resort.
Hard Rock’s plans for AC
Hard Rock is moving fast with its plans to put its own branded resort in the spot once occupied by the Taj Mahal. The sale was first announced just over a month ago.
The company hopes to reopen the resort by summer of next year.
More from NJ.com from Wednesday’s presser:
According to Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, Atlantic City cannot continue if each casino focuses on stealing customers from each other. The way to grow the city is to work together and make the city a destination.
“Atlantic City, no doubt, has had some challenging times but I think it’s very important for everyone to understand it is still the second largest gaming market in the United States,” Allen said. “All of the operators that are currently operating here in Atlantic City are all profitable. No doubt there has been some downsizing in the market but the reality is, with the Hard Rock brand and its amazing ability, as I mentioned, to attract 100 million people on an annual basis, we’re very very confident we can grow the market.”
And more from Mitchell Cypress, vice president of the Seminole Tribe, which owns Hard Rock brand, per Philly.com:
“Atlantic City no doubt has had some challenging times,” he said. “It is still the second-largest gaming market in the United States. All of the operators here are profitable. We are very, very confident we can grow the market.”
He said the Taj Mahal building itself was ripe for transformation. “The bones are tremendous in this building,” he said.
Other details about the Hard Rock AC
Here’s what else we’ve pieced together about the Hard Rock AC from Wednesday’s presser:
- Hard Rock will spend $375 million on renovating the property.
- The casino will feature 2,400 slot machines and 130 table games.
- It will generate 1,000 construction jobs and about 3,000 permanent positions.
- Amenities will include a spa, new restaurants, and fully renovated rooms.
- The current Hard Rock restaurant on site will get a full makeover and include beach access.
- The 6,000-seat arena on property will remain but will be renovated, as well.
- The minarets from the Taj will go away.
Christie talks on AC’s big day
Gov. Chris Christie was on hand to take some of the credit for Hard Rock deciding to invest in AC. He orchestrated a state takeover of the city’s finances late last year.
Here is some of what Christie said on Wednesday:
“Hard Rock’s willingness now to come in and invest significantly in Atlantic City shows you that they appreciated the hard things that have been done to restructure this city, and to make it a place where investing makes sense,” Christie said. “One of the things that I know is part of the reason that Hard Rock has made the investment here in Atlantic City is because they believe they can be profitable.
“I don’t believe they would come here if they didn’t think they could make money. And I will tell you that that was not the circumstance in Atlantic City when I first became Governor. People were leaving Atlantic City, because they were losing money. They were leaving Atlantic City, because of the awful conditions that they were met with from a governmental perspective.
“And so we’ve changed that. Whenever you change that, it’s hard to do. You’re not making friends in the short term, but in the long term, 2018, when this place is rockin’ on Wednesday night and Thursday night and Tuesday night, forget about the weekend, people will say that the decisions that were made here were the right decisions to make this possible.”
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