Hard Rock International is planning something really special for Atlantic City.

The company already owns one of the the world’s greatest collections of music memorabilia. It’s on display in its 175 cafes, 24 hotels, and 11 casinos in 74 countries around the world.

In April of this year, it partnered with New Jersey property developers The Morris Family and construction and energy developers The Jingoli Family to buy the shuttered $1.2 billion Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City for $50 million. Needless to say, the sale was big NJ casino and gambling news when it happened.

The group immediately announced plans for a $375 million renovation and re-branding. By all accounts, its going to include a whole lot more than a fresh coat of paint and some new signage.

In fact, the price of the renovation has already ballooned to $500 million. Hard Rock is clearly preparing to open up a massive new gambling and entertainment complex in the summer of 2018.

Hard Rock committed to Atlantic City

From most accounts, it appears Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will become what the once iconic Trump Taj Mahal always hoped it could be. Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said as much in a press release after the acquisition of the property in April:

“From world-renowned music events to innovative dining concepts, we’re excited to bring the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino experience to the Atlantic City boardwalk – which has been home to our Hard Rock Cafe for more than 20 years. Our commitment to Atlantic City has never been stronger and we look forward to being a catalyst for further growth and development of the area.”

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is being built on 17-acres of Boardwalk real estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The new casino should become Atlantic City’s eighth in operation, unless TEN gets there first. It will compete with the biggest casinos in town by hosting 2,400 slots and 130 table games.

Throughout most of the 1990s, Trump Taj Mahal was the highest-grossing casino in Atlantic City. Hard Rock will be doing everything it can to return the property to its former glory.

Hard Rock has had great success with poker at its Seminole Hard Rock properties in Florida. It could revamp what amounts to a sagging Atlantic City poker scene, simply by running the same kind of guaranteed prize pool events it does down south.

A completely redesigned interior at Hard Rock casino NJ

Hard Rock is said to be completely redesigning the interior. That includes first-class food and beverage concepts as well. Along those lines, the famous Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City is moving. In fact, the company is building it a new centrally-located, 400-seat home with an improved stage and beach access.

Some of the world’s best chefs and the restaurant chains they run already call Atlantic City home. However, when it comes to gastronomy, the more the merrier. The Hard Rock restaurant offerings should only enhance Atlantic City’s reputation as a foodie destination.

Developers are also promising Hard Rock will become the premier entertainment destination in Atlantic City. That means live music, sporting events, conferences, and shows inside the two separate arenas offering more than 7,000 seats. Both arenas are currently under construction.

Atlantic City was once the entertainment capital of the East Coast. The Hard Rock is hoping it can help bring A-listers back to the shore and revamp the whole scene.

Turning the Taj into an Atlantic City destination

Hard Rock wants visitors to know its not the same old Taj the minute they walk in the front door. To that end, the entrance of Hard Rock will be completely re-imagined.

The existing facades along Pacific Avenue, at the resort entry, porte cochére, and along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, are all being updated. Hard Rock is also promising a new check-in experience and the construction of a lobby lounge.

Of course, the hotel’s rooms and suites are all undergoing a complete renovation and redesign. Plus, the meeting and convention space is all being updated. This can only help reintroduce the idea that Atlantic City is a great vacation and business conference destination.

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Hard Rock’s music memorabilia museum

It wouldn’t be a Hard Rock property without parts of the company’s collection of music memorabilia on display. To that end, Hard Rock is promising the property will be like a music memorabilia museum, with collectibles focused on contemporary musicians and artists who call New Jersey home adorning the walls.

And here’s something the music lover: Guests will also be able to enjoy complimentary in-room Fender guitar checkouts.

Along with the music museum, Hard Rock is planning to open a full-service spa and a gas station. Earlier this month, Hard Rock International filed plans with the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to open The Rockstop Gas & WashThe gas station will be located at the corner of Pacific and Virginia avenues and include gas pumps, a car wash, and a convenience store.

A sign on the massive Hard Rock construction site unveiled in November claims Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will open in the summer of 2018.

Atlantic City can hardly wait.

Image credit: Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock.com