by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 01, 2017

Local Update

 Hard Rock International has purchased the 2,010-room Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in Atlantic City from billionaire developer Carl Icahn. The gaming resort was shuttered last fall following a long showdown between the casino workers' union and Icahn. Hard Rock will be the majority owner, in partnership with two other entities. The group will invest more than $300 million to purchase, substantially renovate and rebrand the property as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Opening is slated for summer 2018.

 The 1,400-room Revel, which has been closed since 2014, is slated to reopen this month (June) under a new name, Ten, according to owner Glenn Straub. The property has yet to be approved for a gaming license, but Straub wants to open the hotel portion this summer, according to press reports. He bought the $2.4 billion development in April 2015 for just $82 million and has been struggling to relaunch the property ever since.

• The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa unveiled its new 18,000-square-foot Central Conference Center last month, bringing the 2,000-room property's total meeting space to 106,000 square feet. With a layout by Avenue Interior Design, the two-story former nightclub space offers five meeting rooms, a boardroom and an office on the lower level, as well as a 6,500-square-foot ballroom on the upper level. The venue sports the latest technology, including high-definition digital projection. Borgata executive chef Tom Biglan (Borgata Buffet, The Metropolitan, Bread + Butter, Noodles of The World) will manage the culinary program for the facility, with desserts handled by executive pastry chef Thaddeus DuBois (Borgata Baking Company, Borgata Buffet, The Metropolitan, Bread + Butter).

 Also debuting at the Borgata last month was the 223-seat Angeline from chef Michael Symon. A product of New York City's Parts and Labor Design, the 8,200-square-foot Italian restaurant is the first Atlantic City venture for The Chew co-host Symon and was named after his mother, Angel. The eatery will feature dishes such as Mom's meatballs, porchetta with mustard fruit and linguini, and clams with pancetta and chili flakes. Symon joins Borgata's other renowned chefs and eateries, including Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck American Grille), Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay Steak), Michael Schulson (Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub), Geoffrey Zakarian (The Water Club), and restaurateurs Greg and Marc Sherry (Old Homestead Steak House).

 Three new Jose Garces F&B outlets have debuted at the 2,079-room Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City: Olon Restaurante, set in oceanfront space and specializing in seafood; Okatshe, a Japanese sake and noodle bar located next to Olon in the former Seaside Café; and La Cerveceria, a bar connecting the aforementioned two restaurants, featuring seafood, ceviche, draft beer and beach entertainment. Other recent additions at Tropicana include the new 10 North Lounge, offering live music, wine, local microbrews, handcrafted artisan cocktails and a double-sided fireplace, as well as Escape AC, a gaming venue that challenges groups of two to 10 to "escape" a designated room in 60 minutes.

Harrah's Resort Atlantic City will complete a $30 million renovation of all 450 guest rooms in the Bayview Tower this summer. The tower is near Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center, which debuted in 2015 and recently was awarded LEED Silver certification. In all, the 2,590-room gaming resort has more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

 The Showboat Atlantic City, the casino resort that was closed in 2014, has reopened as the non-gaming Showboat Hotel, with 852 guest rooms.

 The 1,140-room Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino has updated the guest rooms in its Forum Tower. The property has 28,000 square feet of meeting space, including the renovated  1,500-seat Circus Maximus Theater.

 The 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel recently expanded its meeting facilities, which now include a 15,000-square-foot conference space and 12 meeting rooms. The hotel has a total of 24 function rooms with more than 64,000 square feet for events.

 The 200-foot-tall Observation Wheel at Steel Pier is slated to open next month. The year-round ride will have 42 climate-controlled gondolas with food-and-beverage service; each gondola can accommodate up to 10 people.