Massive music acts, celebrity appearances and an over-the-top fireworks display will mark the return of two casinos to Atlantic City Thursday – Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. While the properties’ new owners fête curious crowds, Wall Street analysts reportedly remain weary.
The two openings up the total number of casinos in Atlantic City to nine, just a few years after four casino properties closed amid what experts described as an oversaturation in the Shore resort’s gaming industry, writes Alison Burdo in the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Efforts have been made to diversify the city’s economy since the 2014 collapse. Atlantic City’s meetings and conventions industry has worked to attract more and varied groups and Stockton University is preparing to open its Atlantic City campus. As those and other projects took shape over recent years, buyers swooped in to take over the vacant Revel and recently shuttered Taj Mahal.
The Ocean Resort, which replaces the once-highly anticipated Revel, traded for $200 million and the buyer, Bruce Deifek-led Integrated Properties, spent another $175 million overhauling the property that was built for more than $2 billion. A short walk down the boardwalk, the completely revamped Taj Mahal is now the Hard Rock. The transformation came with a price tag of nearly $400 million, and the investment group led by Hard Rock International acquired the property developed by President Donald Trump for $50 million.
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