by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 01, 2018
ATLANTIC CITY


Local Update

 The 2,000-room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City opens its doors June 28, following a $500 million, head-to-toe renovation of the former Trump Taj Mahal. Features at the high-energy Boardwalk property include a casino with 2,200 slots and 120 table games, 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and the Hard Rock Cafe Atlantic City, which has been relocated from its former Boardwalk setting to a new 400-seat venue within the resort. The property's other group-friendly attractions include a beach bar, the Rock Spa & Salon with 31 treatment rooms, the Body Rock fitness center and Hard Rock signature amenities like the Sound of Your Stay, which allows guests to spin vinyl records or jam out on a Fender guitar in their rooms.

The 1,399-room Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, will open on the same day (June 28) as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The resort, which was purchased by AC Ocean Walk earlier this year, first opened as Revel in 2012, went bankrupt and then was purchased by developer Glenn Straub, who never reopened it under his proposed name, Ten. The expansive 6.4 million-square-foot luxury resort has a 138,000-square-foot casino, 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting and convention space, an indoor/outdoor salt-water pool and a sun deck with cabanas. It will have dining outlets by the Garces Group, a Cereal Town eatery, a Wahlburgers burger restaurant (actor Mark Wahlburg's chain), nightclubs and a sports bar, as well as a 32,000-square-foot branch of Exhale, Hyatt's fitness and spa brand. Under its new ownership, the casino will feature a sports-betting section while its floor is being reconfigured to provide a better flow for patrons.

 The Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City recently purchased the Chelsea Hotel and renamed it the Chelsea Tower at Tropicana Atlantic City. The addition gives the resort, which recently completed a $50 million refurbishment, a new total of 2,730 guest rooms. A skywalk linking the tower to the main building of the property debuted this spring.

 After several delays, the 227-foot-high Observation Wheel at the Steel Pier is up and running. A 16-minute ride in one of the 40 climate-controlled gondolas offers impressive views of the New Jersey shore and Atlantic City skyline. At night, the $14 million wheel dazzles the pier -- which is just off the Boardwalk -- with its 14,000 LED lights.

 Guest rooms in the Ocean Tower at the 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City's oldest gaming resort, have undergone a facelift. The property also has launched a range of theme parties it can organize for groups in any of 24 meeting rooms, including four ballrooms and two theaters. Offerings include an Academy Awards-style banquet for up to 900 attendees at the Superstar Theater; an Atlantic City Boardwalk-themed party in the Horizon Ballroom, with its own Boardwalk mock-up and ocean views; and beach-party themed events, which can be held at the on-site Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville entertainment complex with its Margaritaville Café and beachfront LandShark Bar & Grill.

 An outpost of burger-and-shake hotspot Bill's Burger & Bar has opened at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City in the city's Marina section. The eatery's craft burger list includes the signature Bill's "Fat Cat" Burger, which was listed as one of CNN's Top 10 Burgers in America.

Meeting Hotels: Properties in the city include the 2,730-room Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City; 2,590-room Harrah's Resort Atlantic City; 2,000-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; 2,000-room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City; 1,756-room Bally's Atlantic City; 1,399-room Ocean Resort Casino; 1,140-room Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino; 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel; 800-room Water Club, a Signature Hotel by Borgata; 727-room Golden Nugget Atlantic City, and 502-room Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center:Atlantic City Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 486,600 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 45; (888) 222-3683

Airport Transit: Atlantic City International Airport, about 10 miles from the heart of the downtown district. Transfer cost by airport shuttle, $15; by taxi, $30

Taxes: Luxury tax, 9%; sales tax, 4%; occupancy fee, 1%; tourism promotion fee, $5 per room for casino hotels; total tax on hotel rooms, 14% plus the tourism promotion fee

Group Venues: The Little Water Distillery, owned and operated by brothers Mark and Eric Ganter, produces small batches of rum, whiskey and vodka, and can host private tours and tastings for groups of up to 100. (609) 344-7867

Ocean-themed private events are accommodated at the charming Atlantic City Aquarium in the historic Gardner's Basin section of town. Among the aquatic fauna on display are loggerhead sea turtles, coral, moray eels, reef predators and tropical sharks. (609) 348-2880

Contact: Meet AC, (609) 348-7100 or (888) 222-368