Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
A.C. Esports Landscape
Northstar’s 2019 Esports Travel Summit
, the only event of its kind for organizers of esports events, is being held at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, June 25-27. Destinations, venues and suppliers who want to understand esports and grow relationships in this rapidly expanding market will network at the event.
• Caesars Entertainment is pouring $56 million into a renovation of the Harbour Tower at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City Hotel & Casino. Upgrades to the tower's 507 rooms and suites include a refreshed design, along with new high-speed Internet access, charging stations and 55-inch LED TVs. The Harbour Tower will be renamed the Coastal Tower once the renovation is complete in mid-2019.
• The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has undertaken an $11 million project to expand its sportsbook and integrate it with a "destination bar." Stay tuned for more details of the project, slated for completion this summer.
• A $10 million renovation of the lobby and atrium at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall is now underway. Scheduled to wrap up sometime in 2019, work includes a replacement of the venue's escalators and the addition of a set of stairs leading from the main lobby to the first floor. Interactive video boards also are being installed.
• The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City debuted in 2018. The property, formerly the Trump Taj Mahal, underwent a $500 million, head-to-toe transformation into a shrine to rock art and memorabilia. The gaming property offers a revamped casino with 2,200 slot machines and 120 table games; 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and the Hard Rock Café (relocated from its former site on the Boardwalk). New dining outlets include the Sugar Factory, a cosmopolitan casual dining spot and confectionery, and Kuro, an upscale Japanese eatery. Other new features include a lobby lounge and a signature spa/fitness center, as well as the Rocktane convenience store and car wash. The property's Mark G. Etess Arena, a holdover from the Taj Mahal days, remains and has been expanded to seat 7,700.
• The Atlantic City Convention Center has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification in accordance with the LEED rating system developed by the U.S. Green Buildings Council. Steps taken at the center that led to the certification included replacing all metal-halide fixtures in the exhibit halls with LED fixtures, reducing lighting loads by nearly 63 percent. In addition: Replacement of new low-flush valves in the facility’s 32 restrooms decreased water usage by 20 percent. Last year, more than 2.9 million kWh of electricity (roughly 13 percent of the building’s total energy) were produced from solar panels. Operation of lighting and HVAC systems was made more efficient by minimizing their use during non-peak times, and improved operating efficiency of climate controls was achieved during changing seasons. Finally, efforts undertaken in 2018 allowed more than 158.2 tons of recycled materials from the facility to be diverted from landfills, and 9,583 pounds of lamps, ballasts, batteries and electronics were recycled.
• Luxor Capital Group, a New York City-based hedge fund, has purchased the Ocean Resort Casino, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt Portfolio. The property, which had been closed since 2014, was purchased by Bruce Deifik early in 2018 and reopened that June. The gaming resort sits on 20 acres of beachfront and accommodates groups in 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 90,000 square feet of outdoor function space. Amenities include 16 restaurants, a 5,500-seat entertainment venue, a 138,000-square-foot gaming floor, a state-of-the-art sportsbook, a 40,000-square-foot Exhale spa, six swimming pools and the world's largest Topgolf Swing Suite virtual-golf facility. Under Luxor’s ownership, the resort will be enhanced to the tune of $70 million. In addition to the construction of a “long-awaited buffet,” improvements will involve wrapping up incomplete work that had been underway on 12 floors in the middle of the hotel tower, which will add another 500 guest rooms to the existing 1,399 rooms. Casino enhancements and other improvements also are on the drawing board.
• About eight miles from Atlantic City on 670 acres along Reed’s Bay in Galloway, the historic Seaview Dolce Hotel & Golf Club has reopened following a multimillion-dollar renovation. All 296 guest rooms and suites, as well as the lobby, public spaces, meeting and event spaces, and the Grille Room restaurant now feature art deco design elements combined with cool blues and modern finishes. Part of the Dolce Hotels and Resorts Collection by Wyndham, the property offers 27,000 square feet of event space, including 21 meeting rooms, plus two championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and an Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa.
• Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City has reopened the Sea Spa, another part of the former Chelsea Hotel that was added to the resort when it acquired the property directly across the street. All 330 rooms in the Chelsea were renovated and integrated into the resort with access by the Skybridge, an enclosed pedestrian walkway. The added hotel, now called the Chelsea Tower, brought the Tropicana’s room count to 2,400. Last May saw the debut of a rooftop pool with a full-service bar, the Chelsea Five Gastropub.
• Bally's Atlantic City Hotel & Casino has completely remodeled its slot floor, adding machines with Asian games such as 50 Dragons, 50 Dragon Deluxe and Fortune King.
• Last year, the state of New Jersey saw its first gambling facilities kick off regulated sports betting. The Hard Rock, Ocean Resort Casino, Golden Nugget, Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City
all offer sports betting in Atlantic City. The Borgata Hotel Casino
& Spa has undertaken an $11 million project to expand its sportsbook
and integrate it with a “destination bar” that will debut in the
• Over the past five years, Resorts Atlantic City
has completed more than $100 million in renovations to reposition and
transform the property into a vibrant destination with offerings beyond
casino gaming. Major expansion milestones included the $35 million Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville and Landshark Bar & Grill Entertainment Complex,
a first-of-its-kind iGaming Lounge dedicated to the online gaming
experience, and a completely remodeled casino floor adding more than 800
new slot machines. In 2015, a $5 million conference center added 12,000
square feet of meeting and event space. Additionally, last year, Resorts Casino Hotel completed
the final phase of a $25 million room renovation featuring a completely
revamped Ocean Tower. Altogether there are 942 guest rooms and suites
in two hotel towers, an 80,000-square-foot casino, 10 restaurants, a
food court featuring five eateries, two VIP slot and table player
lounges, a casino bar, an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, a health club
and spa, a salon, retail shops and 64,000 square feet of meeting space.
• Relocated to the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from its former site on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City can now host up to 450 guests for private events. The eatery, which has a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and two stages, is decorated with handpicked items from Hard Rock's collection of memorabilia — like a multicolored chiffon shirt worn by musical icon Prince during his "Lovesexy" tour.
• Atop the Playground at Caesars restaurant and shopping complex, the independently owned One Atlantic offers sweeping views of Atlantic City's beach, Boardwalk and skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-air terrace. More than 10,000 square feet of flexible event space accommodates groups of 50 to 1,200 people for cocktail receptions, 30 to 500 for seated luncheons and dinners, and 30 to 750 in theater- or classroom-style configuration.
• An atmosphere reminiscent of Old Havana — complete with period décor, exotic tropical foliage and music — creates a backdrop for colorful events at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. A buyout of the restaurant provides space to accommodate up to 850 people. Choose from several different entertainment options, including choreographed floor shows, salsa lessons and appearances by professional dancers, a cigar roller or a rum expert.
• The 23,100-square-foot Adrian Philips Theater at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall features a stage with a 48-foot proscenium opening, as well as an open-air loggia that overlooks the beach and Boardwalk. With a capacity ranging from 1,000 people in rounds to 3,200 in theater-style seating, the facility is suitable for a variety of functions, including theatrical events, concerts, galas and banquets.
• Hold your event in a tented space perched 1,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The Ocean Reef Oasis at the Steel Pier serves a wide variety of fare, with catering packages that include everything from barbecue favorites, sliders, crab cakes and a clam bake to Italian specialties and freshly carved roast beef. Groups using the venue can also enjoy optional extras, like bonfires on the beach, assorted rides and amusements, and helicopter journeys.