Oceanfront Casino Hotels Atlantic City

Hard Rock Casino Coming to Atlantic City?

Will the Hard Rock Casino build in Atlantic City, NJ?

The New Jersey State Senate on Thursday approved a bill to allow two new casinos to be licensed in Atlantic City with fewer hotel rooms than current law requires. The bill would allow two casinos with just 200 rooms, fewer than the currently required 500 rooms, and with less casino floor space than today’s gaming halls. Both new casinos would have to be built close to the Boardwalk, and at least one would be expected to expand into a full-sized 500-room casino with increased floor-space within five years.

“We’ve seen larger projects die on the vine in Atlantic City because investment capital dried up, and no one is willing to take a chance during a difficult economic period,” Whelan said following the vote. “Not only does this bill lower the investment threshold to get new casinos in to redevelop blighted areas in Atlantic City, but it creates a safety net so that development capital is available in good times and bad, and a guarantee that construction actually takes place.”

Lawmakers had considered the proposal – which has earned the nickname “boutique casinos” – in the spring, when Republicans were lukewarm about the concept. Casino executives represented by the Casino Association of New Jersey told Whelan during a Senate wagering committee hearing that they did not support the idea. Joe Corbo, then-head of the association, cited concerns about overcrowding of the market and potential new casinos failing to meet a high standard for the resort.

Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City – Let the Games Begin!

“We need to get people back to work in Atlantic County, and bring in capital investment,” Assemblyman Vincent Polistina said Thursday night.

While Whelan has said the bill lowers the entry fee for doing business in the resort, new licensees will have to pay significant money to the state upfront and throughout the life of their projects. The two licensed properties would have to pay $2 million upon commitment to a license. The money would be shared between the city government and the state to complete infrastructure improvements around the casino sites.

As an incentive to expand, the two developers would also pay 5 percent of their gross revenue into a fund that could then be used for expansion and structural improvements. But if they decide not to expand in five years, they would pay an additional 5 percent of gross revenue to the same fund, and that money could be used by other casino businesses or by Atlantic City government on capital improvements within the Boardwalk district.

That provision, which was added in the last two weeks, leaves open the possibility that the fund could assist in operation of a proposed new state-run tourism district surrounding Atlantic City’s Boardwalk, Inlet and Marina areas. Gov. Chris Christie proposed the district in July. This was the first piece of Atlantic City-related legislation to pass a full vote since the governor’s announcement.

The bill is also a catalyst for a proposed Hard Rock casino hotel which parent company Hard Rock International would build in partnership with New York-based investment group Och-Ziff Real Estate. Hard Rock Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen said work on the estimated $400 million to $450 million project would begin almost immediately after the boutique casino bill receives final approval by the Assembly and Christie.

“Certainly, if this bill passes, we’ll continue to travel down this path,” Allen said in an interview with The Press of Atlantic City. “We are still very enthused about a Hard Rock in Atlantic City.” Design work on the Hard Rock casino would take about six to eight months, with construction stretching out over another 18 to 22 months, Allen said. Although Hard Rock is far from finalizing its designs, preliminary plans call for 200 to 300 hotel rooms to start, eventually building up to 500, he said. “We’re committed to going ahead and meeting the 500-room minimum,” he said.

Hard Rock Atlantic City remains one of the few developers serious about building a new casino in a gaming market mired in a four-year revenue slump and hounded by competitors in surrounding states. Atlantic City has been further plagued by the sluggish economy, but Allen said there are signs of a recovery on the horizon. He also believes Atlantic City has absorbed the worst from the rival Pennsylvania casinos.

Hard Rock is encouraged, Allen said, by Southwest Airlines’ pending takeover of AirTran, a carrier that serves Atlantic City International Airport from Atlanta. The merger potentially means expanded AirTran service to Atlantic City or Southwest could bring in its own brand of flights to the city, Allen said.

Atlantic City Monopoly – Travel Guide

The Atlantic City Conventions and Visitors Authority came up with an unusual substitute for a guidebook to Atlantic City, New Jersey. They found their way around town using a Monopoly board.   The guidebook publisher’s U.S. travel editor Robert Reid made an amusing video of his effort to use Monopoly as his guide, walking around town carrying a game board and the property cards bearing familiar street names.

Standing on St. James Place with the corresponding card, he said, “A lot of people don’t realize that the places — Oriental Avenue, Ventnor Avenue, St. Charles Place, Park Place and this, St. James Place, are real and they can be visited here in Atlantic City.”  He then walked into a small hotel, the Inn of the Irish Pub, and told the man at the desk that according to his Monopoly card, he could buy the hotel for $100 plus four houses.

“We would never sell this hotel,” responded local Atlantic City Resident Frank Pileggi, but he later accepted $30 in Monopoly money to pay for Reid’s night at the inn.  In addition to visiting various streets, Reid’s tour included a stop at the city water tower with the “Water Works” utility card in hand, and a shot of an Atlantic City police car to correspond to the “Go to Jail” card.

State of New Jersey to Take Over Atlantic City, NJ

The State of New Jersey is getting ever more involved with the day-to-day operation of the nation’s second-largest gambling market.  Atlantic City agreed Tuesday to let state officials take control of the city’s troubled finances to help it get back on its feet and avoid crushing tax increases that otherwise would have had to be passed on to residents and businesses.

It’s Gov. Chris Christie’s second major move to assume greater control in Atlantic City, whose 11 casinos have been reeling from a nearly four-year revenue plunge set off by competition in neighboring states and the continuing poor economy. Earlier this year, Christie announced plans to set up a special casino and tourism district in Atlantic City overseen by the state.  “Atlantic City is at a crossroads where its revitalization and future as a resort destination are now taking shape,” the Republican governor said of the overwhelmingly Democratic city. “This is not the time, nor is it the right message to be sending, for Atlantic City to be imposing burdensome tax increases on its citizens and business community.

“We want to help Atlantic City through this difficult period, but we also want the city to improve and maximize its management and fiscal policies so it is best positioned for revitalization and long-term prosperity,” Christie said.  Atlantic City elected officials sought to portray the move as help from the state rather than an outright takeover, even though the state retains ultimate control over the city’s finances.

“We welcome this partnership with state government in what we are trying to accomplish for our city,” Mayor Lorenzo Langford said. “The governor can help us to convey to the rest of New Jersey all the progress we are making to improve the management of our city to pave the way for a brighter future.”  The arrangement will allow the city to gradually close its $9.5 million budget deficit over five years, sparing residents and businesses a significantly larger property tax increase this year. The state’s Local Finance Board voted Tuesday to approve bonding to pay for Atlantic City’s tax appeals.  Under the agreement, city officials reduced a previous request to exceed the state property tax cap by nearly $10 million to just over $2 million instead.

Had the higher waiver been approved, Atlantic City taxpayers would have been hit with an average increase of $253. The lower waiver means that increase will now be $157.  Other benefits of state supervision include allowing the city to defer some expenses. The state of New Jersey may also provide staff and resources to help the city with its finances.  The municipal budget up for a vote Wednesday night is about $216 million.  Atlantic City government needs help, the mayor has no clue.

MGM to Sell It’s Share of Borgata Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey casino regulators on Thursday approved the $73 million sale of land underneath the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa as part of MGM Resorts International’s exit from the nation’s second-largest gambling market.

The state of New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved the sale of 11.3 acres to Vornado Realty Trust and Geyser Holdings, through their newly formed company Atlantic City, New Jersey GL LLC. It’s part of the casino company’s forced exit from Atlantic City over its ties to the daughter of a reputed Chinese mob boss.

MGM Resorts is selling its half-interest in the Borgata itself following an ultimatum from New Jersey casino regulators that it sell its 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s top casino, or cut ties with Pansy Ho, its partner in a casino in the Chinese enclave of Macau. Ho’s father, Stanley, has long been accused of ties to organized crime, which he denies. MGM Resorts chose to keep its relationship with Ho and walk away from the Borgata. Linda Kassekert, chairwoman of the casino commission, said the sale needed to be approved to enable MGM Resorts to leave Atlantic City under the agreement it reached with the commission in March.

The company revealed this week that it had received an offer of $250 million for its interest in the hotel. MGM Resorts would not identify the potential buyer. Boyd Gaming, MGM Resorts’ partner in the Borgata, has the right of first refusal on any sale of MGM Resorts’ half of the casino. “MGM has formally presented us with the offer; we have just begun the process of considering it,” Boyd spokesman David Strow said Thursday.

Boyd has 30 days to decide whether to exercise its right to buy MGM Resorts’ half of the Borgata Atlantic City Casino.

Atlantic City Casinos & Hotels Send Layoff Notices

Atlantic City hotels and casinos are sending out notices to its workers warning them they could be laid off soon as the struggling casino prepares to change ownership.  John Pasqualoni, Resorts casino’s chief operating officer, told employees in a memo Thursday that they will receive notices in the mail Friday as required under the Worker Adjustment and Notification Act, otherwise known as WARN.  The notices were first reported by The Press of Atlantic City.

Resorts Casino — the first in the nation to open outside Nevada — is being bought by veteran casino executive Dennis Gomes and developer Morris Bailey for $35 million. That’s the lowest price ever paid for a casino in New Jersey’s 32-year history of legalized gambling.

A casino spokesman would not comment on the notices or say how many of the casino’s 2,124 workers could lose their jobs.  The notice warned layoffs would occur Dec. 1 — the  same day Gomes and Bailey are expected to receive approval from the state Atlantic City Casino Control Commission to take over Resorts.  “We are doing everything in our power to ensure the sustainability of the property and facilitate the smooth transition of the purchase of Resorts Atlantic City,” Pasqualoni wrote in the memo to employees. “However, there are some considerations that are outside of our control and for that reason, not only is this notice a legal requirement, but I believe it is the right thing to do.”  Neither Gomes nor Peter Hoelzle, president of the RAC Atlantic City Holdings, immediately returned calls seeking comment Friday.

Atlantic City Hotels Layoff Casino Workers – News!

After Resorts Casino defaulted on its mortgage and turned itself over to its lenders in December 2009, the two sides hammered out a deal that let the lenders own the casino in return for canceling nearly $381 million in debt. The lenders formed RAC Atlantic City Hotels & Casino Holldings, which was given a one-year casino license.  RAC said then that it wanted to find a buyer as quickly as possible.   “We have no intention of operating the casino or the hotel well into the future,” Hoelzle told the state casino commission last fall.

Gomes and Bailey struck the deal to buy Resorts Casino Atlantic City from RAC in August.  Resorts opened in 1978 but in recent years has been dwarfed by newer, bigger casinos around it. It also was hurt when slots parlors opened in recent years in neighboring Pennsylvania began siphoning off its most loyal customers, mainly day-tripping senior citizens who would ride the bus to play slots for a few hours.  By fall of 2008, the nationwide recession had pushed Resorts to the brink, and the casino made no payments on its $360 million mortgage after October 2008.  Its lenders, including Wells Fargo on behalf of Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage Securities Corp., could have foreclosed on it but chose to work out the deal in which the casino ceded ownership to them.

Hopefully, by trimming the fat, Atlantic City hotels and casinos will be able to cut costs and stay afloat into the future.

Add 4 New Casinos Bill Submitted by Jim Whalen

Potential to Allow Four New “Smaller” Casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey!

Four new, “smaller” casinos could be built in Atlantic City under a law that was introduced Monday. This could mark the biggest expansion of legalized gambling since it began in Atlantic City, NJ, 32 years ago.

The new law could set off the biggest brawl since Mike Tyson crushed Tyrell Biggs at Boardwalk Hall, most of the existing casinos in town strongly oppose letting new casinos into the market at discount prices, tax breaks etc.

Former AC Mayor James Whelan is now a NJ state senator and will introduce legislation to permit four new casinos of at least 200 rooms. The current casino required minimum is 500, and the newest casinos have 1,000 or more.

“The world has changed, and Atlantic City has changed,” Jim Whelan said. “In 1978, Atlantic City desperately needed hotel rooms and nightclubs and the amenities that go along with a first-class hotel. Five hundred rooms made all the sense in the world.

One likely participant would be the Chelsea Hotel, a 330-room “boutique hotel” opened two years ago on the Boardwalk just as the national economy tanked. The hotel is owned by Curtis Bashaw, former head of New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, who was forced to scrap his plan for his own sprawling casino nearby due to the recession.

“We think the Chelsea would be an excellent candidate for a small, upscale Monte Carlo-type venue that would elevate the market and attract a more upscale patron,” Bashaw said. “This is about jobs, innovating new gaming products and allowing the capital markets to enter the market at the level they’re comfortable with now.”

George Lynn, former CEO of the AtlantiCare hospital system, said bringing new, smaller casinos to Atlantic City will help the entire business community, including those not involved with gambling.

“The more people that come to Atlantic City, the more that small businesses prosper; we’ve seen that again and again,” he said. “These boutique casinos will help Atlantic City differentiate ourselves from our competition, which is something we absolutely have to do.”

Atlantic City Cruises

Sunset Cruises in  Atlantic City

Atlantic City Cruises – Atlantic City’s #1 Tour

Atlantic City Cruises Buy Tickets and get more information!

Atlantic City rightfully directs most of its press and marketing activity towards things that cater to the over-21 market. After all, it’s a gambling town, and the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority (correctly) does not lose sight of that. But an activity that might unfortunately go overlooked during a visitor’s time here is Atlantic City Cruises. The cruises are a spectacular option for families visiting in the summer, and also for the other parent with the kids when Parent #1 is in convention meetings all day. As a concierge, I’m amazed sometimes at the number of people that didn’t know an excursion like this was available, and I’m all too happy to help. The cruise season currently runs from May 10th to October 14th, with anywhere from one to six departures per day from two convenient points in Atlantic City. Cruises depart from Historic Gardner’s Basin at New Hampshire Avenue, at the northern end of the island. (Atlantic City is on an island – a lot of people don’t realize that when they’re here – fun fact.) Cruises aboard the Cruisn 1also depart from the “E” Dock of the Senator Frank S. Farley State Marina, which is right across the street from Trump Marina. Captain and Owner of Atlantic City Cruises Jeff George does everything with his boat, from private parties to fundraisers, along with his regularly scheduled itineraries. I’ve personally been on several private group cruises with Jeff, and I loved every one. The scheduled voyage choices include things like a 9am combination bay and ocean cruise that highlights the ocean inlet and the resort’s bayside. It’s only an hour, which leaves a full day on the beach. Other options are the 11am narrated casino skyline tour, which looks at the AC skyline from the ocean side. Enjoy Memory Lane at sea for an hour. Cruisn 1 is a U.S. Coast Guard-certified passenger vessel with a maximum capacity of 150 people, but Jeff likes to keep it around 100 if possible so people can be more comfortable as they take in the sea air and the views. Atlantic City Cruises has been featured on The Weather Channel, NBC 10 Philadelphia, Fox 29 Philadelphia, CBS 3, and CN8. The New York Times, the AC Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer have all done reports on AC Cruises. Also new for this season is Atlantic City’s only parasailing outlet, courtesy of AC Cruises. It used to be that anyone who wanted to parasail had to go down to Ocean City and fight the traffic into and out of the family resort. Not only can you now parasail without leaving AC, you can fly solo or tandem and take the option of being dunked in the bay on your way down from your temporary 500-foot perch or coming back to terra firma completely dry. In short, I love to cruise on Atlantic City Cruises, and everyone visiting the city that’s Always Turned On should definitely consider AC Cruises in their vacation planning. The AC Mole gives him two opposable thumbs way up!

#1 Tour in town, check out the Dolphin watch, Sunset Cruise and many more!

2010 NJ Flounder Regulations Approved

Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Flounder fisherman get extended season to fish for Fluke.

New Season: May 29, 2010 through September 6, 2010 or 101 days of fishing!
Bag Limit: 6 Fish per day
Size Limit: 18 inches long

The NJ flounder season inludes both Memorial Day and Labor Day this year as decided by the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council. Last year, fisherman were not happy when the season ended on Sept. 4,which was before Labor Day.

Fishermen pushed the Fisheries council to pick a season that included both holidays. The NJMFC chose from 10 options to stay within the state’s quota for Summer flounder/ fluke. Dozens of local fishermen commented on the different options, and the NJMFC chose the most popular one, May 29 through September 6. The season includes 101 days of fishing. Fishermen will be allowed six fish per day, with 18 inches being the minimum fish size.

Brook Koeneke, operator of the Duke o’ Fluke party boat out of Somers Point,NJ pushed hard for both holidays.”Any option that doesn’t include Memorial Day weekend is unacceptable. We need that early holiday,” Koeneke said.

New Jersey fisherman exceeded catches in 2009, over by 24 percent, but were only required to have a 1 percent reduction this year in 2010. While reviewing the reports submitted by NJMFC, most anglers had a difficult time believing the figures that showed excessive landings in 2009. Last year anglers felt that the majority of fish caught were less than 18 inches and had to be thrown back, so the numbers seamed high. Plus, one captain replied “it rained the whole month of June, and the rest of the summer we threw everything back. Please come up with something to help us out. If not, we’ll be out of business and our children won’t be able to fish for anything.”

Overall, this is great news for Atlantic City and New Jersey Anglers, plenty of fishing for that giant fluke, can’t wait to fry up a few in pan with a cold beverage.

2010 New Jersey Flounder Regulations

Progress for Atlantic City Sports Betting

Latest News Regarding the Push for adding Sports Betting in New Jersey and Atlantic City!

Governor Chris Chritie charges panel with making sports betting and casino profits sure bets again in the Garden State.
Originally written by Andrew Kitchenman on 2/19/2010

The future of Atlantic City, the Meadowlands and New Jersey’s horseracing and gaming industries could be determined by a new commission advising Gov. Chris Christie, and business owners are eager to have their voices heard.

Business leaders and lobbyists said they agreed with Christie that these interconnected industries deserve his attention, and that the state has allowed problems to stagnate.

The panel has been given a broad mandate to explore potential solutions and report back to Christie by June 30. The range of issues it will consider includes the future of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority; how to revive Atlantic City’s economy; whether to reduce the number of horse racetracks and expand gaming to the tracks; and the future of the Xanadu project in the Meadowlands.

The horse industry is keenly tracking Christie’s approach. Michael Campbell, executive director of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey, said it is important for the panel to hear from the farmers and horse owners who are the backbone of the horse-racing industry in the state.

“There’s a lot that goes into those horses,” Campbell said, noting that feed suppliers, veterinarians and others both support and depend on the industry.

Campbell had a mixed reaction to two reports from Christie’s transition team. The subcommittee on gaming, sports and entertainment raised the possibility of limiting the number of thoroughbred racing dates, which Campbell said would destroy the industry. But the report on agriculture discussed adding slot machines at the racetracks, a strategy supported by the industry.

Breeders Association lobbyist Barbara DeMarco said the state saves money by having horse farm owners keep farms undeveloped.

“Keep in mind, a horse farm is a business,” DeMarco said.

One region with a major stake in what the commission recommends is the Meadowlands. Nearly 40 percent of the 800 members of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce depend on “destination” visitors for their business, including restaurants, hotels and stores, according to Jim Kirkos, chamber chief executive officer.

Kirkos said he was pleased Christie decided to address the issues early in his term. He praised Christie’s pick of Jon F. Hanson, a former SEA board president, to lead the commission.

“For too long, we’ve allowed these issues to fester,” Kirkos said.

Like the horse breeders, Kirkos sees expansion of gaming at racetracks as worth exploring. He doesn’t see why slot machines at New Jersey’s tracks could be a threat to Atlantic City hotels, when there already are slots in neighboring states.

“For us this is a big issue, because the Meadowlands Sports Complex drove the economy for 25 years,” Kirkos said, adding that the commission should look to see that all four components of the complex — the new stadium replacing Giants Stadium, the Izod Center, Meadowlands Racetrack and Xanadu — are successful.

But the casinos aren’t likely to see it that way, at least according to one industry tracker. The increasing competition from out of state hasn’t done Atlantic City any favors, said Cory Morowitz, chairman and managing member of Morowitz Gaming Advisors, in Galloway; it’s unlikely that additional competition from within the state would win them over. “It’s a guarantee that slot machines wagering elsewhere in the state has a negative impact on Atlantic City,” Morowitz said. He pointed to Atlantic City’s casinos losing a quarter of their revenue in recent years to Pennsylvania’s slot parlors as an example.

The SEA is prohibited from running slot parlors or lobbying for them under an agreement with Atlantic City’s casinos, according to spokesman John Samerjan. For the past five years, the casinos have contributed $30 million annually to Meadowlands Racetracks’ purses.

The latest agreement ends this year, but Samerjan didn’t want to speculate on whether the SEA may reconsider slot parlors. “We would defer to the governor’s task force on the matter,” he said.

Still, the casinos are eager to work with Christie to find a solution to the state’s gaming woes, according to Joseph A. Corbo Jr., president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.

The Xanadu megamall remains a wildcard in the Meadowlands Sports Complex and in the commission’s deliberation. A state official has spoken with New York developer Stephen M. Ross about his potential involvement in the long-stalled project. Christie said it is important that the tract is developed, calling it one of the state’s most valuable pieces of real estate.

Atlantic City Daily Poker Tournament Schedule

Besides all of the world-class entertainment including concerts, comedy, live shows such as Cirque Dreams, and all of the exciting bars & night clubs Atlantic City has to offer, the biggest attraction is of course the gaming. We know that a lot of you are poker players, so in order to help you out we have posted the daily poker schedule for Atlantic City’s casinos below so you don’t get lost in the shuffle on your next visit!

Harrah’s Resort
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
10:15am 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12
1:15pm 68+12 68+12 68+12 68+12 68+12 175+25 68+12
8:15pm 68+12 68+12 68+12 68+12 105+20 56+14 68+12
12:00am 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12 58+12
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1pm 150+25 100+20
3pm 100+20 100+20 100+20 100+20 100+20
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
11am 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 85+15 53+12
2pm 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 85+15 53+12
7pm 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 85+15 85+15 53+12
10pm 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 53+12 85+15 53+12
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
12 noon
1pm 40+10 40+10 40+10 40+10 40+10 40+10
2pm 60+15
5pm 40+10
6pm 40+10
7pm 40+10 40+10 40+10 40+10
8pm 100+20
9pm 100+20
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