Atlantic City Casino’s just aren’t getting the same business they used to, and they’ve noticed. With casinos popping up all over New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut over the past decade, New Jersey’s gaming market has continued to slide. But they’re not going down without a fight.
Tropicana’s Atlantic City casino has announced a $35 million multi-phase project that would involve converting a storage building into a two-story health and fitness center, and transforming the currently unimpressive boardwalk façade into a dazzling array of lights and sounds. The resort will also look to renovate more than 400 of their hotel rooms.
New Jersey lawmakers from the Casino Redevelopment Authority (CRDA) have also proposed to contribute approximately $19 million in state funding to get the project underway. Such an influx of capital could prompt construction to begin this fall and would reach completion by the end of 2015.
“We are excited about the prospect of creating and investing in these innovative renovations,” Tony Rodio, Tropicana Entertainment’s president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. He also elaborated that, “projects like these provide us with the opportunity to create new experiences and enhance the comfort of our guests.”
By far the most visible change, at least to the public, will be Tropicana’s new boardwalk façade. Nine LED screens will rise far above the pavement in front of the casino, and will be supplemented with an interactive display that will be projected by 20-foot-high light-projecting bollards.
The Tropicana Atlantic City Casino won’t be the only part of Atlantic City that’s getting a major facelift. The CRDA has granted a $30 million loan for a $60 million apartment building, whose main investor is none other than Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq’s developer, Boraie Development, will receive the loan when the firm secures the rest of the money for the project. Most of the capital will come from sales tax rebates leveraged against Revel Casino for their development project in the South Inlet.
With the state’s deadline for improvements in Atlantic City tourism and resort revenue becoming increasingly more menacing, those businesses that are looking to renovate or expand should consider doing so sooner rather than later.