What's New in Atlantic City

Six of the city’s nine casinos are investing in multimillion-dollar renovations that will make the beachside destination all the more attractive.

Atlantic City Gaming News
An aerial view of Atlantic City Photo Credit:Meet AC

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The value proposition of gaming resorts — the all-under-one-roof entertainment options, streamlined logistics and spacious meeting venues — are particularly appealing to many planners as they get back to booking in-person events. And the resort operators are doing what they can to sweeten the pot. Case in point: The investment and pace of development and expansion in the gaming hubs of Las Vegas and Atlantic City are producing new and innovative meeting spaces and hotels. Here’s a look at the latest draws for groups.

Atlantic City is undergoing a major revitalization, with six of the city’s nine casinos investing in multimillion-dollar renovations that will make the beachside destination all the more attractive for post-pandemic planning. The addition of new dining outlets and attractions, such as the largest arcade in the state, also add to the city’s appeal.

The largest investment comes from Caesars Entertainment, which has pledged to spend $400 million on renovations at its three Atlantic City properties, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City, by 2023. Included in the plans are towers of remodeled rooms, updated casino floors and new restaurants. The first phase of the project, to be completed this summer, is a $170 million renovation of 600 guest rooms and suites at Caesars and Harrah’s. Enhancements to the Tropicana are expected to follow. Additional details of the master plan are expected to be announced in the coming months.

Bally’s Corp., which purchased Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars Entertainment last November, has committed $90 million to upgrade the property over the next five years. More than 900 of the hotel’s guest rooms will be renovated and 30 to 40 mini suites will be built. An upgrade to the casino floor and new slot machines and table games are also included in the plans. The FanDuel Sportsbook, complete with two large video walls and multiple betting kiosks, opened in March.

Upgrades are also planned for the newest properties in town. Hard Rock Atlantic City, which opened in 2018, will spend a minimum of $20 million in capital improvements, most of which will go toward renovating the hotel’s 66 Celebrity and 25 Roxy suites. The remaining funds will upgrade the resort’s meeting and convention space, the indoor pool, the casino and the beach bar. The main casino floor and cage areas will be expanded to make room for new table games and slot machines; the Asian and high-limit areas will also have new gaming units. The Hard Rock Beach Bar will be upgraded, adding 1,000 more beach chairs, as well as new restrooms. A Starbucks outpost and the Sandpiper Bar & Grill, which debuted this July and serves seafood, are now part of the F&B mix.

Ocean Casino Resort, which also opened its doors in 2018, will undergo a $15 million renovation. The plans call for 250 new slot machines, a high-limit table games area, an Asian gaming space and two new guest lounges for loyalty-card holders. Amenities such as the pools, the cabanas and the beach also will be upgraded. 

Lucky Snake, the largest arcade in New Jersey, has opened at the Showboat Hotel. The 85,000-square-foot venue houses classic games from the 1980s, as well as virtual-reality games, Skee Ball and a regulation-size boxing ring. Construction on a $100 million indoor waterpark at the nongaming resort is expected to break ground this summer. The attraction will feature water slides, pools, lazy rivers, F&B outlets and lounge areas. Showboat owner Bart Blatstein also has plans to add a domed concert hall and an outdoor beer garden, and hopes to extend the boardwalk, adding a sun deck in the dunes.