[toc]When you visit Las Vegas, it’s usually packed on the weekends. But there’s also plenty of people filling up the hotels, dining at restaurants, and gambling on the casino floors on weekdays.
That is definitely not the case in Atlantic City, especially in the offseason; it’s generally a weekends-only attraction.
But the city would desperately like to change that reality and characterization, and Hard Rock International wants to lead the way.
Hard Rock wants to change the culture of AC
When Hard Rock bought the Trump Taj Mahal this year, it didn’t do so with small intentions. And it didn’t shell out money for a property that was making money on just 52 weekends a year.
It plans on spending $375 million on the property and renovations, tearing the outdated property to its studs and bringing it into the 21st century.
More from the Press of AC on the plans of Hard Rock chairman Jim Allen:
“Unfortunately, I have a tremendous respect for our competitors in town, but Atlantic City has turned into a one-and-a-half-night town,” Allen said.
Allen said Hard Rock has the “the entertainment power” to bring in acts that will draw crowds not just on weekends but midweek as well.
He wants to have Hard Rock lead the way in developing a seven-days-a-week economy in the city, something the city and its tourism groups have sought to achieve in the past few years through conferences and midweek events.
Whether Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Atlantic City can live up to those lofty expectations when it opens in 2018, however, remains to be seen.
AC becoming more than a “weekend-only” destination?
Once upon a time, AC was thought to have everything needed to be just that for the long-haul. But along the way, that dream wasn’t realized.
Hard Rock’s plans are certainly a good start to turning AC into an all-days-of-the-week destination. a la Las Vegas. There will undoubtedly be entertainment options available — including midweek — that aren’t in AC now. But there needs to be more than just that.
Revitalizing the Boardwalk, at a minimum, would be a great first step:
- Showboat owner Bart Blatstein is on his way to helping make that a reality.
- If TEN AC — the former Revel — actually reopens with a fraction of owner Glenn Straub’s grand plans, it would likely be a boon to the resort town.
- Attractions like the observation wheel and a possible beer garden look to make the Boardwalk more appealing.
AC can become more, but it will take time
AC hit rock bottom in 2014, when a number of resorts closed up shop. There have been a lot of good developments early in 2017, but to expect everything to be rainbows and unicorns immediately would be foolhardy.
Hard Rock’s plans to draw more midweek customers is a start. But AC won’t evolve into more than a weekend destination overnight.
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