by Lisa A. Grimaldi | May 01, 2012
Atlantic City 
The $2.4 billion Revel casino resort officially opens this month, following a six-week preview. The property has 1,800 guest rooms, 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, 90,000 square feet of outdoor function space, a spa and 14 eateries.

Plans for a Hard Rock International  casino hotel have been put on hold for six months at the request of the developer (construction on the first phase of the 850-room project was set to begin this summer). The "boutique" casino had been approved as part of a pilot program that allows for two smaller-scale casinos on the Boardwalk. At press time, no other firms had applied for the second casino slot.

Guest room at the BorgataThe 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, with more than 70,000 square feet of event space, is spending $50 million to redesign and upgrade its guest rooms. The property, which recently revamped 300 suites, expects the project to be completed by July.

In other news concerning the Borgata, New Jersey's Casino Control Com­mission approved a request by MGM Resorts International for additional time to sell its 50 percent share of the gaming resort. The extension, through March 24, 2013, is part of MGM's settlement with the state to leave the Atlantic City market because of concerns over the company's business partner in a casino in Macau.

The former Atlantic City Hilton Casino, renamed ACH Casino Resort last year, is now the Atlantic Club. Last May, Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced that the 804-room gaming property would no longer be allowed to use the Hilton logo, and the name was changed to ACH, reflecting owner Colony Capital's rebranding campaign to attract local business.

John F. Palmieri was named executive director of New Jersey's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority last September. The agency oversees development, tourism, meetings and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. Previously, Palmieri served as director of Boston's Redevelopment Authority.

The 2,133-room Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort will debut two new group venues this spring. The Anthem Lounge (formerly 32 Degrees) is designed as a trendy nightspot that will feature a 360-degree cylindrical screen visible throughout the lounge and a photo booth with a live feed. Anthem will accommodate events for up to 150 people. The second venue, Boogie Nights, will feature a state-of-the-art lighted dance floor. The 1970s-themed club bills itself as "a time warp back to the era of 8-track disco tapes, bell bottoms, sideburns, crushed velvet and afros." Groups of up to 700 will be accommodated.

The Atlantic City Convention & Vis­itors Authority has launched a new mobile website. The site features four main tabs to navigate events, accommodations and activities in the area, along with copious information about dining. Users who access  from a smartphone automatically will be sent to the mobile site.

The three-year-old Atlantic City Express Service, known as the ACES train, was discontinued  in March. The luxurious train, which offered service between New York City and Atlantic City, had been jointly operated by Harrah's Resort, Caesars Atlantic City and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Construction of a new 75,000-square-foot federal inspection station is under way at Atlantic City International Airport and set for completion later this year. The new facility will allow the airport to pursue international carriers and air-service routes. The project, expected to cost about $25 million, includes a customs and border patrol facility, an expanded baggage claim area that will provide space for customs to process international passengers, and the installation of new passenger boarding bridges.

Houston-based Landry's purchased the Trump Marina Hotel & Casino last year and rebranded the 728-room property as the Golden Nugget Atlantic City following a complete overhaul.