The acquisition of the former Trump Taj Mahal by Hard Rock International is complete, with the Seminole Tribe-owned company announcing their plans for the Atlantic City casino via press release earlier this week. Hard Rock plans on spending as much as $375 million on renovations of the Boardwalk property and reopen with the new title Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City by summer 2018.
According to information provided by Hard Rock, the casino will have 2,400 slot games and 130 table games. Atlantic City already has a Hard Rock Café which will be moving from its existing location and placed inside the former Trump property. There will also be two performance spaces created which will offer over 7,000 seats in total.
Chairman of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen, stated in a press release the following: “From world-renowned music events to innovative dining concepts, we’re excited to bring the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino experience to the Atlantic City Boardwalk—which has been home to our Hard Rock Café for more than 20 years.”
Allen stated further that the commitment by Hard Rock to Atlantic City ‘has never been stronger’ and the company looks forward to being a catalyst for continued growth and development of the region.
The Trump Taj Mahal was first opened in 1990 by Donald Trump and was quite successful in the beginning. However, over the years, the property fell on hard times and Trump had to file bankruptcy and transfer the casino to a new owner. By 2015, the property was scooped up by billionaire businessman Carl Icahn who would obtain the casino out of bankruptcy and eventually have to close the venue late the following year.
It seems Icahn’s mistake was the fact that during his acquisition, he asked the bankruptcy judge if he could avoid paying health insurance and pension benefits to unionized employees in order to invest the money in the venue. He was given this option and the employees were unhappy. By July of 2016, a strike ensued which led to several months of picketing by the employees. By October of 2016, the property would shut down.
Hard Rock International has been trying to offer a casino in the region for some time, having announced a proposal back in 2011 that never came to fruition. They also worked with the Meadowlands Racetrack in the past, hoping gaming would be allowed in the northern region of the state, but a failed referendum from November 2016 would see that their plans would not come to be. Now, it seems the company will finally get their chance as the acquisition of the former Trump Taj Mahal is complete and plans are moving forward for the revitalization of the property.